Tourism Minister Meseznikov lauds new Berlin-Tel Aviv route

Air Berlin, the second largest airline in Germany, will operate a new overnight line between Berlin and Tel Aviv, commencing Tuesday night. The German carrier will operate two weekly flights, bringing the number of flights to Israel from various German cities to 68, operated by eight airlines. Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov (Yisrael Beiteinu) said that Air Berlin's addition was "of great importance in realizing the tourism potential from Germany to Israel." "This decision, which represents an expression of confidence in the Israeli tourism industry, is in keeping with the Tourism Ministry's Open Skies policy and the removal of obstacles in the way of tourist traffic to Israel. It will help increase both seat capacity and tourism traffic into Israel," he said in a statement. In 2008, over 140,000 German tourists visited Israel, an increase of 40 percent compared to 2007.