Tense relations between Turkey and Israel have taken to the skies.
While Turkish airlines continue to operate some 100 flights a week to Israel, Israeli flights to Turkey have been suspended because the Turkish authorities have refused to allow Israel security personnel to perform the security checks on passengers boarding flights to Israel.
In this situation , The Israeli authorities have thus halted all the Israeli flights and left the market to the Turkish airlines and that in the midst of the peak season,
The “honeymoon” between Turkey and Israel has been over since in 2010, when Israeli commandos boarded a Turkish ship heading to Gaza in defiance of the Israeli blockade. Nine Turkish nationals were killed during the attack.
Under pressure from the US, Israel agreed to apologise and compensate the families of the dead.
But the air has not been cleared, and for some weeks now the Turkish authorities have refused to allow Israeli security personnel to perform the security checks.
It is not the first time that a country has been uncomfortable with the presence of armed Israeli security personnel in its airports. Russia and Denmark have taken a similar stance in the past, but eventually agreed to lift the restrictions.
But this time the atmosphere is bad and that has made the crisis more complicated.
The result – Turkish Airlines and some Turkish charter airlines are flying on the route nonstop, and taking all the traffic that has grown since the summer holiday in Israel began.
Efforts to break the deadlock have failed and the Israel carriers . El Al, Arkia and Israir are furious.
Giora Romm, director of the Israeli civil aviation authority, is due to meet his counterpart in Turkey in the next few days. “I’m going to do everything in my authority to end this asymmetric situation,” he says.
Sources from the three Israeli airlines say that only sanctions against the Turkish carriers will bring the needed provide the pressure that may end needed to end the crisis.
But with the situation tense between the two countries, whether Israel will be willing to take such a drastic step remains to be seen.