arkia logo 88.
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Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz has granted Arkia Israeli Airlines its first scheduled operator license for flights to Larnaca, Cyprus, which El Al recently dropped, and to Dublin, Ireland .
The Transportation Ministry said Mofaz approved Arkia's request to fly between Ben-Gurion and Larnaca International Airport because of the importance in keeping the route open between the two countries.
El Al notified the ministry last month that it would stop its flights beginning March 1 due to the low income generated by the route. The company is in the middle of a cost cutting program in which it is dropping non-profitable routes and concentrating on more popular destinations such as to North America and the Far East .
While El Al flew four flights to the Greek Island city in summer and three in winter, a spokesperson for Arkia said it would operate two to four flights a week depending on the season.
Meanwhile, Mofaz also upgraded Arkia's status on its flights to Dublin, from being a charter flight operator. The carrier will provide one scheduled flight a week to the Irish capital, starting in the summer.
Renovated Tiberias Hot Springs opens
The newly renovated Tiberias Hot Springs Spa opened this week having completed the first stage of its NIS 3 million upgrade to its facilities.
Africa Israel Hotels, which owns the spa, said the spa opened with its new therapeutic pool, physiotherapy center, sauna and alternative therapy rooms.
Further renovations are planned for the hot springs, the lobby and spa rooms.
Tourism incubator reopens in Hadera
Eleven new tourism businesses in the northern city of Hadera will receive assistance from the city's tourism incubator program, which has restarted its operations after two year of closure.
The incubator, which gives financial assistance to tourism businesses in the planning stages, is being run by MATI (the Center for Business Development) in partnership with the Tourism Ministry.
Yardena declared tourism village
The Agriculture and Tourism Ministries have declared the village of Yardena a tourism town, enabling the government to inject NIS 2m. for the development of infrastructure and the environment there.
The investment is aimed at transforming Yardena, situated near Beit She'an, to a village focused on attracting tourists and at developing agricultural tourism in Israel, the Agriculture Ministry said.
Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon said his ministry will allocate 40% of its investment budget, or approximately NIS 37m., to the development of villages. Of that amount, NIS 7.5m. will go to tourism development, he said.
El Al offers Spring deals
El Al has released its early bird tariffs for Spring travel to North America, Europe and the Far East.
Prices include round-trip flights to New York for $649, to Paris or London for $399 and to Amsterdam, Rome, Madrid or Milan for $379, the airline said Wednesday. Passengers below age 30 can travel to Bangkok for $799. All fares include taxes and levies.
El Al has limited the number of seats available for the special rates to 10,000 and said the fares are applicable for travel between April 8 and June 30 as long as the booking is made before March 7.