Wizz Air CEO: Israel stalling on Open Skies
Low-cost carrier Wizz Air CEO Josef Varadi has said that the Israeli government is thwarting the Hungarian airline's plans to expand operations in Israel by preventing the establishment of a base at Ben Gurion Airport, Globes with reference to the "Yediot Ahronot" reports.
Speaking at a ceremony to receive the fast-growing carrier's 100th passenger plane, Varadi said, "We've already been holding talks for a long time with the government but we are not really moving forward."
Varadi said that Israel's Open Skies revolution was not complete and he blamed pressure on the government from Israeli airlines as well as security issues.
Wizz Air, founded in 2003, operates 600 routes with 141 destinations in 44 countries. The company operates 19 routes between Israel and 10 European countries, making the foreign carrier flying to the largest number of destinations from Israel. Its flights land and depart from Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv and Ovda Airport in southern Israel.
"Israel is a big and very important market for us," said Varadi, "but the logistics are very problematic. The flights come from Central European destinations, which is very far for our sort of operations and so we need to open a base in Tel Aviv."