ANKARA (Reuters): Israeli airlines will resume direct flights to Turkiye as a mark of a continued improvement in bilateral relations, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said on Tuesday, predicting a 25 percent increase in tourism this year.
The first such flight will depart on Thursday, Cohen told reporters during what he described as a solidarity visit to Turkiye, which credited Israel for sending relief delegations after last week’s earthquake.
An Israeli official said the flights were resuming as part of an airline security agreement reached last year, with the two nations rebuilding ties strained by disputes over Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.
“I would like to update you that Israeli flights will renew in two days from now, and all the three major companies in Israel will renew their flights to Turkiye,” Cohen said.
“We will definitely warm the important relations between your important and beautiful country and Israel,” he added, predicting that a million Israelis would visit Turkiye in 2023, up from 800,000 who went last year aboard foreign airlines.