Jewish Agency, Arkia Airlines Strike Deal to Fly Immigrants to Israel

Cooperation deal ends El Al's monopoly as single Airline with rights to fly Jewish immigrants to Israel.

Arkia Airlines and the Jewish Agency signed a cooperation deal on Sunday to fly Jewish immigrants to Israel, putting an end to El Al's monopoly as the only Israeli airline that flies immigrants into the country.

"We are thrilled about the opportunity to take part in the Jewish agency's Zionist project and hope that the number of immigrants gradually rises with time," Arkia Airlines CEO Gadi Teper said.

He added that starting in December over one thousand French immigrants will be flown in to the country in an Arkia aircraft.

Immigrants from the Ukraine will also travel with Arkia on the new weekly flight from Kiev.

15,875 people immigrated to Israel in 2008.