Israeli national airline seeks to halt Cairo flights

Israel’s national airline El Al says it wishes to cease operating its weekly service between Tel Aviv and Cairo, despite the fact that the provision of flights between both countries is mandated by the historic 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty.

The carrier’s plans were set out in a letter from its chief executive Eliezer Shkedi to Israel's foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, with the letter subsequently published in the Maariv, Israel's third largest daily newspaper.

Citing high operational and security costs, as well as near-empty flights, Shkedi said the service was not economically viable.

El Al has been operating the route for over three decades, at least once a week, but since the Egyptian revolution in February 2011, the airline has operated the service on a reduced basis due to a significant fall-off in demand.

Shkedi says that if the airline were to continue operating the flights, it would require assurances about which government body would step in to help it foot the bill.

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