Israel-EU formally sign 'Open Skies' agreement

June 10, 2013 16:47

Some two months after Israeli airlines went on a brief strike to block the Israeli-EU "Open Skies" agreement, the two sides inked the accord in Luxembourg on Monday, paving the way for more direct flights between Israel and EU countries.

The European Union issued a statement saying that the deal was signed in the margins of the EU Transport Council meeting.

Siim Kallas, European Commission Vice-President responsible for mobility and  transport, said: "Israel is a key partner for the EU and today's agreement is very important for further strengthening the overall economic, trade and tourism relations between Israel and the EU. We expect to see more direct flights to and from Israel, lower prices, more jobs and economic benefits on both sides."

When the agreement comes into effect in 2018, EU airlines will be able to operate direct flights to Israel from anywhere in the EU, and Israeli carries will be able to operate flights to airports throughout the EU.

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