Flights to Istanbul

Israeli flag carrier El Al and Turkey’s Atlasjet Airlines said on Tuesday they have put off the start of flights between Tel Aviv and Istanbul in the wake of Israel’s raid of a Turkish-backed aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip.
El Al and Atlasjet were slated to begin flights using Atlasjet planes on June 20 thanks to a rebound in tourism over the past year. The flights were to compete with Turkish Airways’ 25 weekly flights. No Israeli carrier flies to Turkey.
Turkey is one of the most popular destinations for Israeli tourists. And tourism has gone up 18 percent this year after dropping off in the wake Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s criticism of Israel during a three-week offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza a year-and-a-half ago.Newspapers said that local trade unions, who regularly reward workers with trips abroad, were considering boycotting Turkey due to Ankara’s role in organising the aid floatilla.
Israel raided the convoy of ships, resulting in nine deaths.An El Al spokesman said El Al and Atlasjet hope to renew flights in the near future.

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