El Al is trying to reach codeshare agreements with Lufthansa and Air France to enable it to set up a hub in Europe.

The Israeli national airline wants to sign codeshare agreements with the two European airlines and to co-ordinate timetables so that its passengers will be able to fly with the airlines to European and long haul destinations. According to Miki Gat, El Al's vice-president marketing, the code- share agreements are needed to add frequencies from Tel-Aviv to Europe and from there to all the world destinations served by the two European airlines.

If an agreement is reached with Air France, El Al will move its operations from Orly to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to shorten connecting times.

The negotiations with Lufthansa have reached a crucial point and an effort is being made to reach an agreement during a meeting between Lufthansa's chairman Jürgen Weber and El Al's top management in Tel Aviv on 19 May.

Source: Flight International