The Tourism Ministry on Tuesday said it once again granted British tour operator Longwood Holidays financial guarantees as part of its program to encourage charter companies to fly to Israel.
A similar agreement with Longwood last year cost the ministry NIS 335,000 and saw the company bring 4,000 tourists to Eilat from Manchester, England, but could cost the government more this year given the hesitation of travelers to visit Israel following the war in Lebanon.
"We are making every effort to ensure charter flights to Eilat," Tourism Minister Isaac Herzog said. "This deal is essential, especially in these times, to preserve the level of tourism to Israel and particularly to Eilat."
Under the agreement, the Tourism Ministry will pay up to $10,000 per flight that is not filled by the company as long as Longwood sells at least 60 percent of the available seats.
Longwood will operate 25 flights from Manchester to the Red Sea resort city during the winter season ending April 2007.
The agreement has been forwarded to the Finance Ministry for final approval.