Israeli government to boost airline security spending

Tel Aviv
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Israel's government is increasing its contribution to airline security costs as it looks to open up the air transport market between Israel and the European Union.

A study prepared for the European Commission said that over 1,000 jobs would be created in Israel and the EU in the first year following the signing of a Common Aviation Area agreement. In addition, it predicted any agreement could lead to more than 220,000 additional passengers travelling between the EU and Israel and consumer benefits of up to €96 million ($149.8 million).

While the agreement will enable the Israeli airlines - El Al, Arkia and Israir - to fly freely to European destinations, depending only on available airport slots, it will increase security costs, mainly on multi-leg flights.

As a response, the Israeli government has raised its contribution to the airlines' security budget to 70% in 2012, up from 65% in 2011. This will then rise to 75% when the agreement is signed and to 80% when implementation begins.