TEL AVIV (Jun. 19)
El Al and the Czechoslovak airline CSA are to begin weekly scheduled service between Tel Aviv and Prague next week, El Al’s director general, Rafi Harlev, announced Monday.
The establishment of regular flights further strengthens the ties between the two countries, which resumed diplomatic relations in February after 23 years.
The Israeli airline will now be flying to six destinations in Eastern Europe: Bucharest, Romania: Budapest; East Berlin; Prague; Warsaw; and Zagreb, Yugoslavia. In total there will be 11 weekly flights to Eastern Europe, Harlev said.
But the agreement between El Al and the Soviet airline Aeroflot for much-desired direct flights between Tel Aviv and Moscow still has not been implemented, because of the Soviet government’s refusal to ratify it for political reasons.
Czechoslovakia has begun discussions with Israel on the subject of transporting emigrating Soviet Jews to Israel. The new flight routes are expected to facilitate those plans.
Harlev said that political reasons are also holding up the conclusion of new mutual agreements with several major European airlines, which El Al hopes will help the Israeli airline ready itself for the economic consolidation of Europe planned for 1992.