El Al, Israel's national carrier, is set to increase its flights to the southern city of Eilat, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz told managers of rival airlines Arkia and Israir on Monday.
El Al will add a fourth daily flight, five times a week, to and from Eilat, and is expected to obtain approval for an increase in the number of seats from 430 to 580 aboard all flights on that route.
Katz will present his final decision on the matter only after a hearing with Israir and Arkia representatives, who will give their views on the matter. In a statement released Monday, Arkia said, "Arkia is wondering how the decision was made to help El Al once again, considering that El Al failed to meet the expectations it outlined in its presentations to the Transportation Ministry before it obtained a license for flights to Eilat a year ago. Arkia will state its position clearly at the hearing with the minister."