Israir Airlines

Israir Airlines

fleet_size=8 (+3 orders)
destinations=13 scheduled, c others chartered
company_slogan="Why pay more? - למה לשלם יותר?"
founded=1989 (as Kanfei HaEmek)
Renamed as "Israir Airlines" in 1996
headquarters= Tel Aviv, Israel
hubs=Ben Gurion Int'l Airport
Sde Dov Airport
focus_cities=Eilat Airport
Ovda International Airport
Haifa Airport
key_people=Zohar Endelman (President & CEO)
Israel Ben Haim (General Manager)

Israir Airlines ( _he. ישראייר), usually referred to as Israir, is an airline based in Tel Aviv, Israel. It operates domestic scheduled and air taxi flights from Sde Dov Airport, Haifa Airport, Ben Gurion Airport and Eilat Airport, as well as international charter services from Ben Gurion International Airport, to Europe, Asia, and North America.citeweb | url= | title=About Israir Airlines | accessdate=2007-05-08 | publisher=Israir Airlines] It also operates VIP flights and is Israel's second largest airline after El Al employing some 350 staff. [citeweb | url=,7340,L-3345724,00.html | title=Israir Airlines (Israel's Second Largest)| accessdate=2007-05-05 | publisher=YnetNews | date=2006-12-28] The airline is said to have modeled itself based on US low cost carrier, JetBlue. [citeweb | url= | title=Israir Airlines information | accessdate=2007-05-12 |]


Israir Airlines was established in 1989 as Kanfei HaEmek (Valley Wings), before changing its name to Israir Airlines in 1996. It is now wholly owned by the Ganden Group. [citeweb | url= | title=Ganden Group Venture Capital Profile | accessdate=2007-05-08] The airline began with domestic services from Eilat Airport, Ben Gurion International Airport, Sde Dov Airport, and Haifa Airport in the North of the country. It expanded its operations to begin international charter flights in 1999 building up a route network which now covers much of Europe, as well as regularly flying to other destinations in Asia, Africa, and North America.

The airline expanded operations across the Atlantic when they started regular charter service to New York City's Kennedy International Airport in June 2004. Service to JFK in New York City ended on September 13, 2008. Permission was granted to the airline to convert this to regular scheduled service by the Israeli government and the FAA as of May 1, 2006. [citeweb | url= | title=More competition between Israel, New York | accessdate=2007-05-06 | publisher=USA Today |last =Mutzabaugh| first=Ben| date=2006-06-17] This service will be discontinued in September 2008, due to escalating fuel prices and the expectation of a drop in the number of passengers due to the weakness of the dollar at the time. [cite news | url= | title= | accessdate=2008-08-08 | publisher=Globes | date=2008-08-06] In the process, they have wreaked havoc in students' travel plans, making rebooking very difficult and on some occasions refusing to refund money they owe.

In early 2007, the airline announced plans to introduce "Sky-Torah" scrolls on each of its aircraft. [citeweb | url= | title= Israir Airlines Introduces the 'Sky-Torah' | accessdate=2007-05-05 | publisher=PR Newswire | date=2006-12-27] These were effectively Torah scrolls which would be carried on board its flight for Jewish passengers to use for prayer. This is a first for any Israeli airline and was seen by many as a means to attract many Haredi passengers to the airline at a time when they were showing great dissatisfaction with arch-rival, El Al, following their flying of aircraft over the Shabbat. [citeweb | url= | title=Flying Torah | source=Airline Business | date=2007-01-03 | accessdate=2007-07-20] Later on in 2007, the airline sparked controversy once again when a passenger announced he was filing a lawsuit against the airline for misadvertising the legroom they offered on their aircraft. [Citeweb | url= | title=Customer files lawsuit against Israir Airlines over reduced legroom | accessdate=2007-05-12 | publisher=Haaretz | date=2007-05-13 | first=Carmel | last=Ben-Zur]

In early 2008, when restrictions were lifted on Israeli airlines destinations, Israir applied for designated carrier status on routes from Israel to London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Amsterdam, Rome, Budapest, Las Vegas, and Miami - some of which are destinations which are currently served by the airline as charter routes. [Citeweb | url= | title=Israir seeks designated carrier status for US, European destinations | accessdate=2008-02-11 | date=2008-02-11 | publisher=Globes]


Israir operates the following services (as of January 2008):

*Eilat (Eilat Airport)
*Haifa (Haifa Airport)
*Tel Aviv
**(Ben Gurion International Airport) Hub
**(Sde Dov Airport) Hub;Europe
**Paris (Charles de Gaulle International Airport)
**Nice (Côte d'Azur International Airport)
**Berlin (Berlin-Schönefeld International Airport)
**Munich (Munich International Airport)
**Stuttgart (Stuttgart Airport)
**Cologne (Cologne/Bonn Airport)
**Milan (Malpensa International Airport)
**Rome (Leonardo da Vinci International Airport)
**Verona (Verona Airport)
**Amsterdam (Schiphol Airport)
**Stockholm (Stockholm-Arlanda Airport)
*United Kingdom
**London (London Stansted Airport);Thailand
*Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi Airport) seasonal


The Israir Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft as of May 2008 [ [ Israir] ] :

After Israir was granted permission to operate scheduled service on the lucrative New York-Tel Aviv route, in spring 2006 it entered talks with both Boeing and Airbus regarding the acquisition of new aircraft to its fleet and replacement of its existing jets. The company was said to be in talks with Boeing over the 787 model. [Citeweb | url= | title=Boeing near decision on 787 production capacity | publisher=USA Today | accessdate=2007-07-20 | date=2006-06-08] It also signed a deal to acquire Airbus A320 aircraft. [citeweb | url= | title=Israir Airlines to buy two Airbus A320s | first=Avi |last=Krawitz | publisher=The Jerusalem Post| accessdate=2007-07-20 | date=2006-12-21] This is a significant milestone in Israeli aviation as no airline has ever before purchased Airbus aircraft. [citeweb | url= | title=Airbus marks first breakthrough in the Israeli market with Israir Airlines A320 order | accessdate=2007-05-06 | publisher=Port2Port | date=2007-04-23] In April 2008, the airline received an Airbus A330 for its New York flights to replace the Boeing 767 aircraft it had previously been wet-leasing. [citenews | url= | work=Globes | accessdate=2008-03-20 | date=2008-03-20 | first=Dalia | last=Tal | title=Israir adds scheduled flights to New York]

Incidents and accidents

In June 2001, one of Israir's ATR-42-320 aircraft was damaged beyond repair following a heavy landing at Ben Gurion Airport. Despite the aircraft being written off, no passengers were injured in this incident. [citeweb | url= | title=ASN Aircraft accident description | publisher=Aviation Safety Network | accessdate=2007-05-12]

On July 6, 2005 a fully loaded Israir 767 accidentally taxied onto an active runway at JFK and a Douglas DC-8 cargo aircraft narrowly avoided collision by taking off at full throttle above them, with only 45 feet of clearance over the 767. [citeweb | url= | title=N.Y. runway tapes reveal how jets nearly collided| publisher=International Herald Tribune | accessdate=2007-08-19 ] Israir pilots actually modified their incident reports to claim that the cargo plane had taken off beside the plane, rather than directly above. The pilots and several high ranking Israir officials were dismissed in the scandal.

In May 2007, an Israir Airlines aircraft on a test flight was almost shot down by Israeli F-16 jets after it entered a demarcation zone where airlines are expected to identify themselves. [citeweb | url= | title=Israir Airlines test flight nearly shot down by F16s | accessdate=2007-05-12 | publisher=Globes | date=2007-03-21] Later that month, on May 23, an Israir flight had to make an emergency landing following smoke build up in the cabin on approach at Berlin-Schönefeld International Airport. No one was injured in the incident. [citeweb | url= | title=Israeli plane makes emergency landing | accessdate=2007-05-24 | publisher=The Jerusalem Post | date=2007-05-23]

In July 2008, an Israir Airlines aircraft flew from Eilat Airport to Ben Gurion International Airport with a small hole in its frame. The hole was discovered by mechanics at Ben Gurion and there is an ongoing probe as to whether or not Israir knew of the hole which was done by Israir workers in Eilat when they crashed a mobile staircase into the aircraft's body. The plane was next scheduled to fly to Italy and at an altitude of over 10,000 feet, the plane most likely would have blown up. [citeweb | url= | title=Probe: Did Israir hide plane damage? | publisher=Ha'aretz | accessdate=2008-08-10]


External links

* [ Israir Airlines]

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