Issta

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Issta Lines Ltd.
Public (TASE)
Traded as TASEISTA
Industry Tourism
Founded 1956
Headquarters Tel Aviv, Israel
Revenue Increase est. 1,500 million ILS
Number of employees
1,100
Website www.issta.co.il

Issta Lines is a public traded tourism company. Its shares are traded on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange. The Issta Group' has over 60 branches throughout Israel, as well as call Centers and online travel services. The Group employs over 1000 permanent employees in Israel and abroad. In 2014 the Group had a turnover of approximately $650 million.

History[edit]

Issta is an acronym which stands for Israeli Student Travel Association, a name which reveals its initial purpose: a student exchange organization which began operating at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in 1956. Issta's first commercial step was marketing discounted seats for students in Zim Integrated Shipping Services passenger ships (formerly ZIM Israel Navigation Company). In 1958 Issta began operating as an independent company owned by the Technion Student Body. At the same year Issta leased airplanes and began marketing cheaper flights to Athens, Greece. Issta continued functioning as a charter operator and cruise retailer and during the 1960s turned Athens Airport into its hub.

Following the increase of incoming Student Travel and Volunteering in Israel during the 1960s, Issta began providing services for Incoming Tourism: Bus Tours around Israel, hostels, hotels and printed matter. Following a model outlined by the International Student Travel Confederation, Issta signed long-term contracts with various airlines and began marketing specially-priced seats for youth and students in regular flights.

In the summer of 1978 Issta leased an aircraft from El Al for a season and operated student charter flights from Tel Aviv to European destinations. In the summer of 1979 Issta leased a 260-seat aircraft from Capitol Airlines and operated its first trans-Atlantic flight to New York. Later that summer Issta operated 2 weekly flights to New York in an aircraft leased from 'El Al Charter Services Ltd.' (later Sun d'Or International Airlines).

In 1985 Issta joined the Israeli Travel Agent Association. In 1987 Issta owned eight branches and employed 120 workers. Its annual revenue reached $9 million and for the first time it granted scholarships for students. In 1989 Issta began launching branches in Israel's suburban and peripheral towns. Computerization of the company began in the late 1980s. Issta Direct Call Centre began operating as an informational telephone line in the beginning of the 1990s.

In 1995 Issta's gross revenue reached $90 million. The company employed 300 workers in 20 branches. In May 1996 the company was issued in Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. In 1999 Nofesh Yashir call center began operating. The Issta Internet travel website was launched in 2000.

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