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Arkia
ארקיע
IATA
IZ
ICAO
AIZ
Callsign
ARKIA
Founded 1949 (as Israel Inland Airlines)
Bases Ben Gurion International Airport
Eilat Airport
Ovda International Airport
Sde Dov Airport
Fleet size 12 (+3 orders)
Destinations 19
Parent company Jordache Enterprises (75%)
Headquarters Tel Aviv, Israel
Key people Gadi Tepper (CEO)
Website www.arkia.com

Arkia Israel Airlines (Hebrew: ארקיע‎, I will soar), usually referred to as Arkia is an airline based at Tel Aviv - Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel. It is Israel's second largest airline operating scheduled domestic and international services as well as charter flights to destinations in Western Europe and across the Mediterranean. Arkia also operates a significant number of flights out of Tel Aviv - Sde Dov Airport, Eilat, and Ovda International Airport.[1]

Contents

History

An Arkia De Havilland Canada Dash 7 parked at Eilat Airport, Israel. (2003)
Arkia operating the first Israeli civilian helicopter. October, 1959
An Arkia Boeing 757-300 taking off from Munich Airport, Germany. (2005)
An Arkia ATR 72-500 parked at Eilat Airport, Israel. (2003)
An Arkia ATR 72-500 at Eilat Airport, Israel. (2006)
An Arkia ATR 72-500 being loaded at Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel. (2007)

Arkia was founded in 1949 as Israel Inland Airlines when it became clear that there was demand for a local airline to connect Tel Aviv with different regions of the new nation of Israel, especially with Eilat, Israel's important seaport on the Gulf of Aqaba.[2] Flights started in 1950 with De Havilland DH.89 aircraft, followed by Douglas DC-3s, to inter-connect major towns in Israel from Rosh Pina in the North to the port of Eilat in the South.[2] El Al held a 50% stake in the airline at this time with Histadrut, Israel's labour federation, being the other shareholder.[3] The airline later adopted the name Eilata Airlines - Aviron, and Arkia Israel Airlines. In its first year of service, Israel Inland Airlines carried 13,485 passengers, using a Curtis Commando.[2]

During the 1950s, the airline continued to grow, upgrading its fleet to the larger DC-3, and operating two flights a day on the Tel Aviv<>Eilat route.[2] This allowed them to have annual passenger figures of over 70,000.[2] As Eilat continued to grow during the 1960s, so did Arkia, introducing the Handley Page Dart Herald series 200 jet propeller aircraft to its fleet between 1967–1968, enabling Arkia to expand with new routes to Jerusalem, Sharm-el-Sheikh, and Santa Caterina.[2] A subsidiary, Kanaf Arkia Airline and Aviation Services was founded as the airline acquired 50% of the stock of Kanaf Airlines and Aviation Services and, by the end of the 1960s, scheduled flights were in operation across Israel, from Rosh Pina in the north, to Ofira in the south.[2]

In March 1980, Kanaf Arkia acquired the remaining stock of Arkia and merged the two operators. The airline grew quickly during the 1980s, moving both into the international charter market and airline maintenance. The airline is now owned by Kanaf-Arkia Airlines (75%) and airline employees (25%). In 2006, the Nakash brothers of Jordache Enterprises, bought Knafaim's 75% share.[2]

In February 2007, the Israeli Tourism Ministry awarded Arkia a scheduled operator licence for flights to Larnaca (Cyprus), a destination dropped by EL AL, and to Dublin (Ireland).[4] In July 2007, it emerged that the airline planned to file for further scheduled carrier status on routes to New York City and Bangkok, currently served under charter status.[5] Furthermore, in early 2008, after the Israeli Tourism Ministry opened up the airline market, the airline applied for scheduled carrier status for routes to Barcelona, Berlin, Moscow, and Paris. The licence for Paris was granted in February 2008, and the airline announced that, on this route, both economy and business class would be offered. At this time, the airline also announced that it would add two Boeing 737 aircraft to its fleet within two years, plus four Boeing 787 aircraft it had on order.[6]

Destinations

Arkia Israel Airlines serves 17 cities in 13 different countries. Arkia has 3 domestic and 14 international destinations.

Fleet

The Arkia Israel Airlines fleet includes the following aircraft (at 10th of March 2010):[7]

Arkia Israel Airlines Fleet
Aircraft In Fleet Orders Seats
ATR 72-500 5 0 72
Boeing 757-300 2 0 265
Boeing 787-9 0 5 TBA
Embraer E-195LR 1 1 122
Total 8 3

4 Dash 7's retired and sold on March 2010. (4X-AHF, 4X-AHG, 4X-AHJ, 4X-AHA) 1 Dash 7 is scrapped. (4X-AHH)

Incidents and Accidents

On 28 November 2002, Arkia Israel Airlines Flight 582, a Boeing 757-300, narrowly missed two anti-aircraft missiles shortly after take-off from Moi International Airport in Mombasa, Kenya. The plane continued onward and landed safely in Tel Aviv, Israel. The incident occurred approximately 20 minutes before the Kenyan hotel bombing.[8][9]

References

External links

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