Tel Aviv (Jan. 5)
Arkia, Israel’s domestic airline that links Tel Aviv and Jerusalem with Eilat has been forced to re-route its flights and employ larger planes, as an indirect result of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. The changes were required because the Negev air space through which Arkia normally flies has been closed for two weeks for Air Force exercises.
The Air Force previously conducted its training maneuvers over Sinai. But with half the peninsula back in Egyptian hands and preparations underway to return the rest by next year, it has shifted them to the Negev. Arkia planes bound for Eilat now must fly out to sea before turning inland south of Rafiah on the Mediterranean coast. This adds 10 minutes to the flight. The number of flights has been reduced and larger aircraft are being used to provide the same number of seats.