Subject to the approval of the Minister of Defense: Residents of the Palestinian Authority will fly from Ramon Airport to Turkey • Meaning: for the first time Palestinians will be able to fly abroad, not via Jordan • Target for the start of the pilot: during August • Ramon officials welcome

    From Ramallah to Istanbul via Israel - expect the pilot to start as early as August:

    The Airports Authority is preparing to operate the first international flights to Palestinians from Ramon Airport near Eilat to Istanbul, Turkey.

    If the flights are implemented, it will be a historic move, as Palestinians will be able to fly from Israel for a vacation abroad not through Jordan - as happens today when the Allenby Bridge serves as a gateway for them abroad.

    The airline that is preparing to operate the direct flights to Palestinians from Ramon Airport to Istanbul is the Turkish Pegasus Airlines, which already operates direct flights on routes from Turkey to Ben Gurion Airport.

    At this stage, this is a pilot that will be carried out subject to the approval of Defense Minister Bnei Gantz.

    Security officials are examining the issue at all levels, as it is a complex procedure in which passengers will have to go through various pre-defined inspection processes for entering Israel, as well as boarding a plane.

    If the process does take place, it will require adjustments and raise weighty questions, including who will be responsible for arranging their entry into Israel, whether they will arrive by bus directly at Ramon Airport and to whom this will be possible.

    The question also arises as to who will secure the flights, and who will provide pre-flight services to Palestinian passengers in Israel and abroad.

    Pegasus plane, Photo: Coco

    The process of transferring the Palestinians to Ramon Airport is to be carried out in an orderly and supervised process, which, as stated, will allow them to fly from Israel for a vacation in Turkey.

    The initiative is part of a series of tributes to Palestinians being considered these days, following the visit of Joe Biden.

    "A welcome move"

    Until now, Palestinians who wanted to fly abroad, including to popular destinations Turkey or Saudi Arabia (Mecca), had to move from PA territories to Jordan overland via the Allenby Pass and take off overseas from Jordan Airport.

    This week we published about the difficulties in the Allenby crossing and the procrastination that some Palestinian passengers in the crossing to and from Jordan are facing.

    Pegasus and Ramon Airport were asked to prepare for the operation of the flights as early as August, as stated, subject to the approval of Defense Minister Bnei Gantz.

    Ramon International Airport, which opened in January 2019, remained deserted during the Corona period, and even now it is having a hard time recovering in everything related to international activity.

    Abu Mazen, Photo: AFP

    Sources at Ramon Airport told Israel Today that they welcome the initiative and hope it will be implemented and expanded: "For more than two years there have been no international flights here. This place needs to come back to life, and any move in this matter is welcome. Hopefully more airlines will return flights to Ramon." .

    The IDF responded: "Recently, the defense establishment has been carrying out staff work on the subject.

    We emphasize that the work on the subject has not yet been completed and approved by the relevant parties. "

    Lilach Shoval assisted in the preparation of the article

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