Hartsfield-Jackson strikes partnership with Israeli airport, with hopes for Atlanta-Tel Aviv flights

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport signed a sister airport agreement with Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion International Airport, which the partners said they hope will spur the resumption of Atlanta-Tel Aviv flights.

The memorandum of understanding signed by Hartsfield-Jackson interim general manager Roosevelt Council and Ben-Gurion managing director Shmuel Zakay is aimed at allowing the airports to share their expertise with each other while increasing travel and trade.

Zakay also said he plans to invite Atlanta airport officials to Israel next month to focus on security issues. Ben-Gurion Airport is known for its tough "ring of steel" security.

Hartsfield-Jackson offers incentives for new international routes. Zakay also said the Israeli government offers a bonus for new routes.

"I believe now it's a very good time for Delta to reconsider," Zakay said.

Delta Air Lines last flew the Atlanta-Tel Aviv route in 2011.

"Certainly Atlanta-Tel Aviv is on the list of markets that we look at on a regular basis," said Christine Kennedy, Delta's general manager of network planning and global partnership development. She said the aircraft that Delta would use to fly the route are restrictive. "We always look at what the next opportunity is."

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About the Author

Kelly Yamanouchi
Kelly Yamanouchi
Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.