Agreement signed for more Israel-China flights
The frequency of flights on the Israel-China route will be dramatically increased to 30 passengers flights and 14 cargo flights a week, according to a memorandum of understanding signed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel and the Civil Aviation Administration of China, Globes reports.
The memorandum refers to an increase in the number of destinations in China approved for operation of flights to five by Israeli carriers (El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) and possibly Arkia Airlines Ltd.) and four more destinations in the framework of code sharing agreements (flights operating by a foreign airline having an agreement with an Israeli airline).
A second clause set new frequencies for flights of 30 passenger flights instead of 20 at present and 14 cargo flights. A third clause allows code sharing agreements between Israeli airlines and carriers from third countries.
The airlines currently operating flights to China are El Al and Chinese carrier Hainan Airlines, which will begin three weekly flights on a new route to Guangzhou next month. Hainan already operates flights on the Beijing-Tel Aviv route, inaugurated in April 2016 and the Tel Aviv-Shanghai route, inaugurated in September 2017. El Al and Cathay Pacific currently operate direct flights to Hong Kong.
Another Chinese airline that will operate flights to and from Israel is Sichuan Airlines, which will next month begin operating flights on the Chengdu-Tel Aviv route.
The Chinese market has been targeted by many countries; it has the highest growth rate in passenger traffic in the world - both international passenger traffic and passenger traffic on local flights. The local flights market in China grew 15% in 2017 with 59 million more flights than in 2016.
The Israeli Ministry of Tourism has also set a goal of increasing passenger traffic from China. For its new route, Sichuan Airlines will receive a €150,000 grant for each flight from the new destination.
113,000 Chinese tourists visited Israel in 2017, 46% more than in 2016. The potential is much greater; the number of tourist is expected to grow substantially.
For Israeli tourists, the increased frequency of flights on the route and the addition of more players means competition from which they will benefit in price, service, and the product available to them.