Photo Credit: Moshe Shai / Flash 90
Eilat

The Israel Ministry of Tourism is inviting aviation companies to receive financial support to operate flights from Europe to Ramon Airport in the coming winter season.

“This directive will bring back to Eilat hundreds of thousands of tourists from overseas,” the ministry said Monday in a statement.

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According to the directive, every airline operating a direct service to the Ramon Airport will receive a subsidy of 60 Euros per passenger.

“The airline is entitled to a subsidy for a maximum of 75 weekly flights from the same airport, flying from September 1, 2022 through to end May 2023 (except for the holiday periods of October 9-16, 2022 and April 5-13, 2023). The deadline for requests for assistance is September 1, 2022,” the ministry said.

The move is aimed at supporting airlines and operators wishing to operate flights in the winter season from Europe to Eilat, which relies heavily on incoming tourism and was severely impacted by the pandemic.

At the same time, the ministry is working on promoting desert tourism, to strengthen the Negev and the Arava, while developing tourism infrastructure in the area.

“Bringing tourism back to Israel in the winter months, and in particular to Eilat and the South, is an important objective in the Tourism Ministry,” said Israel Minister of Tourism Yoel Razvozov.

“I see great importance in transforming Israel into an attractive destination for tourists from around the world, with an emphasis on those countries which are frozen through the winter months.”

During the winter 2019-2020 season (prior to the COVID-19 shutdown) the number of tourists landing in Eilat had reached a record of about 150,000.

In past years, the incentive has brought tourists from 17 new destinations to the resort city and up to as many as 45 weekly flights. Prior to the incentive, there were only about four weekly flights into Eilat.

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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 Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.