Australia and Israel sign historic air services agreement

Media Release

dc038/2017

23 February 2017

  • Bilateral agreement on air services signed in Sydney today
  • New services will generate increased tourism and trade opportunities
  • Signing witnessed by Prime Minister Turnbull and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Australia and Israel have reached an historic deal to establish the first treaty-level air services framework between the two countries.

On his first visit to Australia, Israeli Prime Minister, His Excellency Benjamin Netanyahu, joined Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Sydney today to witness the agreement signed by Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester and Ambassador of Israel to Australia His Excellency Shmuel Ben-Shmuel.

Mr Chester said the agreement was an important component of the bilateral relationship between the two countries, which will generate increased tourism and trade opportunities.

"This agreement on air services arrangements will strengthen people-to-people links between our two countries and facilitate growth and opportunities," Mr Chester said.

"For the first time, airlines of Israel and Australia can begin services between countries either using their own aircraft or via code share arrangements with other airlines.

"During 2016, 12,600 Israeli residents visited Australia, while 22,000 Australians visited Israel. We expect these numbers to grow as the new arrangements are put in place."

Minister Chester also witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Qantas Airways and EL AL Israel Airlines.