Olympic Air has taken the bold decision to take on local rival Aegean Airlines, and Israeli national carrier El Al by starting non-stop flights between Athens (ATH) and Tel Aviv (TLV). Olympic Air’s deputy CEO Mr George Efstratiadis, commented: “It is a great pleasure for Olympic Air to return to Israel. The city of Tel Aviv used to be an important destination for Olympic since 1958 and today we are quite excited to announce the reactivation of the Athens -Tel Aviv – Athens route. The route’s launch coincides with significant developments across the board of regional and business relations in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Improving relations between Greece and Israel, especially in business affairs require flexible and efficient travel services between the two countries. On the other hand the increased flow of tourism calls for a general increase in air routes and capacities. Greek tourists are travelling very often to visit the Holy Lands and other religious shrines, while the Greek islands are becoming increasingly attractive for Israeli tourists. This is exactly where Olympic aims. To offer highly competitive travel schedules, with unsurpassed quality and attractive price. For Olympic Air the launch of the Tel Aviv route represents another significant step towards the implementation of its strategic planning: leadership in the eastern Mediterranean region”. This focus is in line with the airline dropping Western European services. At present, Olympic’s three weekly flights on A319/A320 aircraft will compete with four weekly flights from Aegean and two weekly flights from El Al. In the peak summer season, Olympic will add a fourth weekly flight, while Aegean will increase its service to daily, and El Al’s service is boosted to five weekly flights.