The Russian airline Aeroflot has received approval from the Israel Airports Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority to take over Transaero’s flights between Israel and Russia. Transaero announced two weeks ago that it was bankrupt. Transaero, Russia’s second largest airline, has operated three flights a day between Moscow and Ben-Gurion International Airport.
Between January and September of this year, Transaero flew 183,000 passengers to or from Israel, a 6.6% increase over the comparable period last year, the Israel Airports Authority reported. Aeroflot has a much larger presence at Ben-Gurion Airport, with 353,000 passengers during the same period this year.
Russia provided the second largest number of tourists to Israel last year, although the volume of Russian tourists has declined within the past year due to Russia’s economic problems and the decline in the value of the Russian currency, the ruble. In the first eight months of this year, about 200,000 Russian visitors arrived in Israel, a drop of 30% over the period in 2014.