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Arkia logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1949 (as Israel Inland Airlines)
Operating bases Ben Gurion Airport
Eilat Airport
Ovda Airport
Sde Dov Airport
Fleet size 9
Destinations 25
Parent company Jordache Enterprises (75%)
Headquarters Sde Dov Airport
Tel Aviv, Israel
Key people Gadi Tepper (CEO)

Arkia, legally incorporated as Arkia Israeli Airlines Ltd (Hebrew: ארקיע‎‎, I will soar, Arabic: خطوط أركيا‎‎), is an Israeli airline. Its head office is on the grounds of Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel.[1] It is Israel's second-largest airline,[2] operating scheduled domestic and international services, as well as charter flights to destinations in Western Europe and across the Mediterranean. Its main base is Sde Dov Airport, with hubs at Eilat Airport and Ovda Airport.[3]


Arkia operated the first Israeli civilian helicopter service in October 1959.
Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt arriving for a visit in Eilat on an Arkia airplane. March 26, 1959

Arkia was founded in 1949 as Israel Inland Airlines when it became clear that there was demand for a local airline to connect Tel Aviv with different regions of the then-new state of Israel, especially with Eilat, Israel's important seaport situated on the Gulf of Aqaba.[4] Flights commenced in 1950 with De Havilland DH.89 aircraft, followed by Douglas DC-3s, to inter-connect major towns in Israel from Rosh Pina in the North to the port of Eilat in the South.[4] El Al held a 50% stake in the airline at this time with the Histadrut, Israel's labour federation, being the other shareholder[citation needed]. The airline later adopted the name Eilata Airlines - Aviron, and Arkia Israel Airlines[citation needed]. In its first year of service, Israel Inland Airlines carried 13,485 passengers, using a Curtis Commando.[4]

During the 1950s, the airline continued to grow, upgrading its fleet to the larger DC-3, and operating two flights a day on the Tel Aviv-Eilat route.[4] This allowed Arkia to have annual passenger figures of over 70,000.[4] As Eilat continued to grow during the 1960s, so did the airline, introducing the Handley Page Dart Herald 200 turboprop aircraft to its fleet between 1967–1968, enabling Arkia to expand with new routes to Jerusalem, and Sharm-el-Sheikh.[4] A subsidiary, Kanaf Arkia Airline and Aviation Services, was founded when the airline acquired 50% of the stock of Kanaf Airlines and Aviation Services, and, by the end of the 1960s, scheduled flights were in operation across Israel, from Rosh Pina in the north, to Ofira in the south.[4]

An Arkia Boeing 737-200 at Orly Airport, Paris, France. (1982)

In March 1980, Kanaf Arkia acquired the remaining stock of Arkia and merged the two operators[citation needed]. The airline grew quickly during the 1980s, moving both into the international charter market and airline maintenance. The airline is now owned by Kanaf-Arkia Airlines (75%) and airline employees (25%). In 2006, the Nakash brothers of Jordache Enterprises bought Knafaim's 75% share.[4]

In February 2007, the Israeli Tourism Ministry awarded Arkia a scheduled operator's licence for flights to Larnaca, a destination dropped by EL AL, and Dublin.[5] In July 2007, it was announced that the airline planned to file for further scheduled carrier status on routes to New York City and Bangkok, currently served under charter status.[6] Furthermore, in early 2008, after the Israeli Tourism Ministry opened up the airline market, the airline applied for scheduled carrier status for routes to Barcelona, Berlin, Moscow, and Paris[citation needed]. The licence for Paris was granted in February 2008, and the airline announced that both economy and business class would be offered on this route[citation needed]. At this time, the airline also announced that it would add two Boeing 737 aircraft to its fleet within two years, as well as four Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft it had on order.[7]


Arkia Israel Airlines serves 25 cities in 16 different countries. Arkia has 3 domestic and 22 international destinations. It additionally maintains a codeshare agreement with Brussels Airlines.


Arkia ATR 72-500

The Arkia Israel Airlines fleet includes the following aircraft as of August 2017:[8]

Arkia Israel Airlines Fleet
Aircraft In
Orders Passengers Notes
Airbus A321neo 4[9] 220[9] Deliveries starting in 2018[9]
Airbus A330-900neo 4[10] TBA
ATR 72-500 1 72
Boeing 757-300 2 265
Boeing 787-9 4[11][12] TBA
Embraer 190 3 110
Embraer 195 2 122
Embraer 195-E2 6[13] 134
Total 8 18

Former aircraft[edit]

Arkia Israel Airlines has also operated the following aircraft:

Aircraft Total
Boeing 737-200 2
Boeing 757-200 1
Curtiss C-46 Commando *
de Havilland Canada Dash 7 13
Douglas DC-3 *
Handley Page Dart Herald *
Vickers Viscount *


In May 2017 Arkia unveiled a new livery, ahead of the delivery of new aircraft, which consists of a lower-case 'a' on the vertical fin, which also features the striping effect, and multicoloured stripes on the aft section and the winglets of each aircraft. The colour of the stripes and logo will vary between each individual aircraft.[14]

Incidents and accidents[edit]


  1. ^ "Directory: World airlines." Flight International. 16–22 March 2004. 88.
  2. ^ "Financial Mirror dot com - Arkia Airlines starts flights between Cyprus and Israel". 2014-02-03. Retrieved 2014-07-29. 
  3. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-03-27. p. 77. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "About Arkia". Arkia Israel Airlines. Archived from the original on 2007-05-18. Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  5. ^ "Arkia gets scheduled status". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2007-05-05. 
  6. ^ "Arkia to add 2 more Boeing 787s". Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  7. ^ Dalia Tal (2008-02-12). "Arkia named designated carrier on TA-Paris route". Globes. Retrieved 2008-02-12. 
  8. ^ "Global Airline Guide 2017 (Part One)". Airliner World (October 2017): 17. 
  9. ^ a b c Nensel, Mark (26 April 2017). "Israel’s Arkia selects CFM LEAP-1A engine for A321neos". Air Transport World. Archived from the original on 27 April 2017. 
  10. ^ Karp, Aaron (11 July 2016). "Israel’s Arkia orders four Airbus A330neos". Air Transport World. Archived from the original on 22 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "Arkia". Boeing. 2016-11-16. Retrieved 2017-03-31. 
  12. ^ "Farnborough: Arkia Israel Orders Six Embraer E195-E2s - Airways Magazine". 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2017-03-31. 
  13. ^ "Embraer and Arkia sign Letter of Intent for six E195-E2 jets". Retrieved 2017-03-31. 
  14. ^ "PICTURE: Arkia revamps livery ahead of fleet renewal". London: Flightglobal. 15 May 2017. Archived from the original on 19 May 2017. 
  15. ^ "A History of Terrorism in Israel". Archived from the original on 9 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-05. 
  16. ^ "Pilot of Arkia Flight 582 Describes What Happened". CNN. Retrieved 2007-05-05. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Arkia at Wikimedia Commons