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Media Note
January 11, 2001

United States and Israel Sign Air Service Agreement

American and Israeli officials announced January 10 that they had signed an agreement that will provide airlines of the United States and Israel with the flexibility to provide new service between the two countries through cooperative marketing arrangements such as code sharing.

Under a Protocol to the 1950 Air Transport Agreement initialed January 10 in Washington by United States Special Negotiator Thomas J. White and Avner Yarkoni, Director General of Israel's Civil Aviation Administration, the two sides agreed to permit cooperative arrangements between U.S. and Israeli airlines, and with airlines of third countries.

The current bilateral air transport agreement, first adopted in 1950, permits direct service between points in the United States and points in Israel. Revised in 1978 and again in 1987, the agreement predated the advent of code sharing and similar cooperative marketing arrangements.

Code sharing is an increasingly common practice where an airline puts its code on flights operated by another airline, in order to serve a market without operating its own aircraft in that market. This agreement will permit Israeli and U.S. airlines greater flexibility in serving each other's markets, including serving Israel from more points in the U.S., and will provide new opportunities for increased bilateral trade and tourism.

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