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Israel Seeks Lower Fares on Flights Between U.S. and Tel Aviv

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The Israel Government, interested in encouraging American tourism to Israel, has notified trans-Atlantic airlines that it is deferring approval of a new international air agreement which would lower fares on flights between New York and Europe but not extend the reduction all the way to Israel, it was reported here today. The agreement would have gone into effect next Monday.

Israel’s reluctance to approve the agreement is also due to the fact that the reduction in fare is limited to a 15 day trip, which can be made at any time in the year. Israel feels that under such a short-term arrangement, it would obtain far less tourist traffic than countries in Western Europe which are closer to the United States, source of the greatest number of trans-Atlantic tourists.

Israel and her government-controlled air line, El Al, are said to have contended that few persons traveling 6,000 miles–the distance between New York and Tel Aviv–would want to limit themselves to a fifteen-day stay to save the difference between the special and the regular tourist fares of about $90. On the other hand, they are believed to have argued, this would not necessarily apply to cities like Paris and London. Though the trip to Israel is about twenty-eight hours long, counting lay-overs, compared to eleven to fourteen hours to London, Israel officials believe the “psychological effect” of this time difference on the traveler could be damaging.

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