lufthansa 248 88 .
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Lufthansa German Airlines confirmed Wednesday that it has designated the world's largest aircraft, the wide body Airbus A340-600, for its Tel Aviv route beginning April 1, immediately after limitations on its capacity to Israel are due to expire.
Due to bilateral agreements between Israel and Germany, the airline has had a capacity freeze on its flights to Israel which expires at the end of March.
Industry sources said the German Civil Aviation Authority has invited its Israeli counterpart to meet in Germany on January 10 to discuss an updated aviation agreement.
The airline operates two daily flights in and out of Israel. The new aircraft will replace the A330 it uses on morning flights out of Israel and the night flight from Frankfurt, adding 115 seats on each flight. It will continue to use a Boeing 747 for the other flights.
Having seen a sharp rise of German tourist arrivals in Israel this year, a spokesman for the company said it is banking a major influx in 2006.
Responding to the expected growth in traffic, Lufthansa has expressed interest in restarting flights to Munich. El Al, which currently flies 14 flights per week between Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich, has said it will increase that number to 18.