Photo Credit: Wikimedia / oyoyoy
Haifa Airport's short airstrip in June 2013

An Israeli cyber tycoon has joined a group of former top officials at El Al Airlines to launch “Air Haifa,” a new low-cost, small carrier to be based out of Haifa Airport (HFA) in northern Israel.

The airport cannot be used by major international airlines because its runway is only 4,324 feet long, which limits the plane size and thus the range of destinations.


As a result, it is unlikely the new carrier will see any real competition from other airlines.

Air Haifa plans to operate routes to Eilat and Bucharest, beginning with the Romanian capital this October.

The controlling investor is Israeli tycoon Nir Zuk, founder of the global cyber company Palo Alto.

The next top three shareholders, founders, and company directors include former El Al CEO Gonen Usishkin, former El Al CCO and former Sun d’OR CEO Miki Strassburger, and former El Al Chief Pilot and VP of Operations Lior Yavor.

Strauss CEO Shai Babad, a former director-general at Israel’s Finance Ministry, is also an investor.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.