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News Archives

 

APRIL 2001

April 30, 2001 - SKY Israel Marks Hiring Of 50th Pilot

April 5, 2001 - SKY Israel Creates Passover Website

April 3, 2001 - SKY Israel Prepares for Passover Fly-In

 

MARCH 2001

March 27, 2001 - Passover Pass-Over 2001 Event Website Released

March 24, 2001 - SKY Israel Website Back Online

March 20, 2001 - SKY Israel Website Unreachable After Account Termination

March 12, 2001 - SKY Israel Lays Out Plans For Fly-In

 

FEBRUARY 2001

February 21, 2001 - SKY Israel Passes 2000th Hit On Website

February 20, 2001 - SKY Israel Uses Poll to Revamp Operations

 

JANUARY 2001

January 28, 2001 - European Airways Changes Name to SKYeuro

January 26, 2001 - SKY Israel Conducts Hostile Takeover of European Airways

January 13, 2001 - SKY Israel Headquarters Move Completed

 

DECEMBER 2000

December 10, 2000 - SKY Israel Temporarily Relocates Headquarters to Maryland

December 7, 2000 - DeHavilland DHC-7's Delivered to SKY Israel

 

NOVEMBER 2000

November 29, 2000 - SKY Israel Website Passes 1,000th Visitor Mark

November 24, 2000 - SKY Israel Downgrades Services

November 15, 2000 - SKY Israel Predicts Minimal Impact From Removal of Dornier Jets

November 10, 2000 - SKY Israel Leases Boeing 777-300ERs

November 1, 2000 - SKY Israel Continues Partner Search, Alleges Racism in Industry

 

OCTOBER 2000

October 8, 2000 - Statement from President and CEO Avi Mayer

 

SEPTEMBER 2000

September 3, 2000 - First SKY Israel Aircraft Arrives in Tel Aviv

 

AUGUST 2000

August 20 - SKY Israel Releases New Corporate Website

August 20 - Formal Airlines Reports Board Conference A Success
August 1, 2000 - Formal Airlines conference postponed

August 1, 2000 - SKY Israel decides to purchase 6 Dornier aircraft

 

JULY 2000

July 31, 2000 - SKY Israel secretly publishes first website

 

 

April 30, 2001 - SKY Israel Marks Hiring Of 50th Pilot

-By Gary Kulash (VANF)

SILVER SPRING, MD - Only days after the country of Israel marked its 53rd birthday as an independent nation, officials at the Israeli based SKY Israel Airlines are today celebrating the carrier’s hiring of its 50th pilot. In a press release that was issued earlier this weekend, CEO Avi Mayer told the media that his corporation had taken on its 50th pilot this month, less than ten months after opening for business.

The still fairly new airline, which was initially founded over the summer months of last year as a regional carrier for the Middle East, called the benchmark “…nothing short of amazing.”

The news came as a reassuring pat on the back to Mayer, who said that he was originally ridiculed for even presenting the idea of a Israeli based airline.

“…Some said it was not wise to open an airline in a country that seems to have such a tiny market. They said ‘don’t bother, no one will join.’ Today, I prove them wrong,” Mayer said in a news conference earlier Sunday.

Mayer said that SKY Israel is today an industry leader inside of the virtual aviation community and that he is “…proud to head such a wonderful and ambitious carrier.”

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April 5, 2001 - SKY Israel Creates Passover Website

-By Stephen Ryan (VANF)

SILVER SPRING, MD - The management and website design team of SKY Israel Airlines announced earlier that the airline's website has been transformed into a Passover festival theme in honor of the holiday, which is set to begin Saturday, April 7th.

The website features such traditional Passover symbols as the matzah (unleavened bread) and the seder plate. The holiday of Passover commemorates the Israelites' leaving the slavery of Egypt some 3,500 years ago, and lasts for one week.

The design took airline technical staff some time to prepare, but it was completed and executive-level staff are reportedly very pleased with the final results. It is expected that website updates may be somewhat sluggish during the holiday period, but normal operations will return with the end of Passover on April 14th.

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April 3, 2001 - SKY Israel Prepares for Passover Fly-In

-By Perrin Arno (VANF)

SILVER SPRING, MD  - Israel's SKY Israel Airlines will be hosting it's annual fly-in, celebrating the holiday of Passover, which begins next Sunday.

However, the fly-in began yesterday, April 1st, 2001 at 8:00PM local time, or 2:00PM Eastern Time, in order to ensure that everybody included would not be busy with preparations for the upcoming holiday.

Pilots who have not yet registered for the fly-in were encouraged to do so by officials at SKY Israel, however, unregistered participants will be allowed to fly, according to CEO Avi Mayer.

Those who have already registered for the fly-in have been instructed by SKY Israel's Fly-In Director, Eliyahu Cooper, to use their "…call sign that they submitted at registration, and the registration number from the confirmation email,” during the event.

The location for the fly-In, according to company officials, is at the Rosh Pinna Airport (LLIB), which is located in northeastern Israel.

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March 27, 2001 - Passover Pass-Over 2001 Event Website Released

-By Gary Kulash (VANF)

SILVER SPRING, MD  - The management at SKY Israel as well as the staff of the Passover Pass-Over 2001 fly-in event announced Tuesday that the event’s website headquarters has been unveiled for public viewing.

All details regarding the event have been confirmed and are final. The event is slated to take place on April 1st, 2001 and will encompass the entire State of Israel.

The fly-in will begin at 1800 UTC at Rosh Pinna Airport in Northern Israel. From there, participants will proceed to Haifa International Airport and Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.

“At that point, all aircraft will fly the journey down to the Red Sea resort town of Eilat,” said a spokesman for the organization, who went on to tell reporters that “The event will come to a close with all aircraft landing at Atarot Airport in Jerusalem at 2030 UTC. We urge all participants to visit the fly-in website and register for the event...”

Pilots can find all related information on the website, including announcements, staff contacts, flying information, and a link to the SKY Israel website.

The airline invites members from all over the flight simulation community to join them at this event.

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March 24, 2001 - SKY Israel Website Back Online

-By Daniel Ulvinen (VANF)

SLIVER SPRING, MD - In a letter addressed to SKY Israel Airlines pilots and staff this afternoon, CEO Avi Mayer announced that a “crisis” has been averted.

While away at an AIPAC policy conference in Washington D.C., Mayer says he received an email from Tripod regarding the status of SKY Israel’s website. The email informed Mayer that the hosting service accidentally removed the airline’s website over the weekend.

“It seems as if everything is back to normal,” said Mayer, “I’d like to thank everyone…the website is back online and good as new.”

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March 20, 2001 - SKY Israel Website Unreachable After Account Termination

-By Gary Kulash (VANF)

SILVER SPRING, MD - Employees and passengers flying aboard SKY Israel may have noticed some serious problems with that Middle Eastern based airline’s website this weekend. In a news conference that was hosted earlier this week, CEO Avi Mayer announced that the Israeli based corporation’s website was apparently unreachable by Internet users, following what he and others described as a seemingly unwarranted termination of their Internet web-hosting account by Tripod.com and Lycos.com.

“The reason for this is actually quite unknown,” Mayer told the VANF, saying, “It becomes apparent that our hosting company, Tripod-Lycos, has for some reason decided to terminate our account.”

Regardless of the reasons for the account termination, the effects that the deletion of the site is having are serious. According to Mayer and other SKY Israel spokespeople, reports indicate that the carrier’s entire online database of files in addition to the website were all lost as a result of the account termination earlier last week.

Mayer said that airline officials are now working to figure out “…exactly what happened and why,” in addition to “…trying to rectify it, while at the same time creating an emergency website…so that operations do not have to be affected.”

“…They didn’t give us any advance notice, so we didn’t have time to create any backups. It’s all gone,” Mayer said in reference to what he described as six months of solid work that was destroyed by the account termination.

Airline executives are now issuing a call for help to other pilots and staff members at SKY Israel, urging aviators to forward their name, identification numbers, rank, and hours logged with the airline so that the information can be restored once the company is fully back online.

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March 12, 2001 - SKY Israel Lays Out Plans For Fly-In

-By Gary Kulash (VANF)

SILVER SPRING, MD - The airline’s owner might be just north of Washington, D.C. in Silver Spring, but that isn’t stopping him from planning out yet another fly-in for SKY Israel over the airspace of the Middle Eastern country. In a press release that was issued earlier today, Avi Mayer announced that he and other airline executives from the carrier were now in the process of laying out plans for what he described as being a major fly-in that would take place later this year.

Set to happen sometime in early April inside of Israel, Mayer dubbed the SKY Israel fly-in as being a “Passover Pass-Over,” that would be open to virtual airlines from all over the globe that wished to participate in the event.

“As of now, we are expecting a route that will start in the north of Israel, then proceed down the coast and down into the Red Sea resort town of Eilat and from there back up to land in Jerusalem,” Mayer told reporters earlier today, explaining that while the flight plan for the event is still not complete, it is expected that the entire venue would be split up into segments.

Mayer said that SKY Israel is urging “…all virtual airlines to join what we’re hoping will be one of the largest virtual aviation events ever,” and “…certainly the largest ever to take place in the Middle East.”

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February 21, 2001 - SKY Israel Passes 2000th Hit On Website

-By Gary Kulash (VANF)

JERUSALEM, Israel - More than half a year after first opening for business, SKY Israel Airlines today reported that the company has received its 2000th hit on its corporate website. In a news conference that was hosted late yesterday, CEO Avi Mayer told the media that the Israeli based carrier had taken on more than 2,000 visitors since its opening in August of 2000.

“The staff members in both the executive headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland and in the airline’s Jerusalem, Israel base are holding simultaneous celebrations and the champagne is flowing,” Mayer said last night.

According to Mayer and other spokespeople from SKY Israel, the company has “…managed to double the number of visitors to the site since November 29th, 2000,” when the company announced that it had received its 1,000th hit.

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February 20, 2001 - SKY Israel Uses Poll to Revamp Operations

-By Eric Olson (VANF)

JERUSALEM, Israel - As part of SKY Israel's "Let the People Decide" campaign, the airline has been posting polls on their web pages in order to see what airline policies should be modified within the company.

The second poll in this series was concluded the other day. In this particular poll, pilots were asked, "Do you think SKY Israel should invest in its domestic network, or start going international?"

Of the respondents, 49 percent stated that the airline should concentrate on domestic flights, 40 percent stated that the airline should definitely start international routes, with the remaining 11 percent stating that the airline should start international charter flights.

Based upon the previous results, management of SKY Israel has decided to come up with ideas for domestic expansion within the country keeping efficiency in mind.

With the conclusion of the routing poll, SKY Israel has already released another poll, which asks visitors, "Do you think SKY Israel should work on its domestic fleet or should we purchase new medium-range aircraft for European and charter services?"

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January 28, 2001 - European Airways Changes Name to SKYeuro

-By Daniel Ulvinen (VANF)

FRANKFURT, Germany - Only a day after officials at SKY Israel announced the “hostile takeover” of European Airways, Lufthansa Virtual Airlines CEO Martin Halstead announced that European Airways would now be known as SKYeuro.

SKY Israel will own a 51 percent stake in SKYeuro, with Lufthansa Virtual holding the other 49 percent of the airline.

A brand new website is being built for the new SKYeuro, with a special aircraft livery also being planned with combined Lufthansa and SKY Israel colors.

According to a spokesman for Lufthansa Virtual, the aircraft will be a prize in a competition that will be held within the airline in the next few weeks.

Discussions are now being conducted with SKY Israel and Virtual Delta Airlines regarding code-share agreements. Talks with Virtual America West are also scheduled to begin soon.

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January 26, 2001 - SKY Israel Conducts Takeover of European Airways

-By Stephen Ryan (VANF)

FRANKFURT, Germany - SKY Israel is expanding their assets in the industry this evening. Avi Mayer announced in a press conference held moments ago that the carrier has purchased a controlling share of European Airways, bringing the subsidiary airline under their control.

The carrier will be renamed SKYeuro, and will operate as a cityhopper/feeder for both SKY Israel and Lufthansa VA inside the continent of Europe.

The airline's current six mini-hubs will be consolidated into three hubs at London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol and Frankfurt am Main International.

All low-frequency routes to cities such as Zadar, Croatia and Edinburgh, UK will be dropped to allow for the strengthening of routes to more major cities inside the continent. These routes will be added back on in the future. It has not yet been decided who will undertake management of the airline, and there are openings for certain executive and managerial positions in the airline.

For more information, please go here.

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January 13, 2001 - SKY Israel Headquarters Move Completed

-By Daniel Ulvinen (VANF)

SILVER SPRING, MD (VANF) - Only a month after SKY Israel announced that they would be relocating their corporate headquarters to Maryland, the company today issued a press release stating that it has completed the relocation to the new base, which is only miles from the headquarters of this news agency.

The new headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland is now fully operational, according to airline officials. A spokesman for SKY Israel told the VANF that all of the company’s executive decisions will be made in the future from the headquarters until July of this year.

CEO Avi Mayer was adamant about the fact that the move is indeed temporary, even though the company is considering the securing of the building lease for another year.

“All business and operations will continue to be conducted from the airline’s base in Jerusalem, Israel.” Said Mayer.

In other news SKY Israel brought an end to what corporate officials described as a “month-long hiatus,” by publishing the latest version of the Middle Eastern carrier’s website early yesterday morning.

“We hope to keep the website updated on a regular basis,” said Mayer.

Other minor changes have also been made to the airline’s timetables.

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December 10, 2000 - SKY Israel Temporarily Relocates Headquarters to Maryland

-By Perrin Arno (
VANF)



JERUSALEM, Israel (VANF) - In a press conference Saturday, officials at SKY Israel announced that the airline will begin relocating its corporate headquarters in Jerusalem, Israel to Silver Spring, MD in the United States.

A company spokesman told the VANF that the airline plans to relocate all executive facilities along with staff to the airlines new offices in the United States. Although no reasons for the move have been released, CEO Avi Mayer stated that the move was for “personal reasons.”

According to airline officials, the Jerusalem offices will continue to be maintained by “remote control.”


Mayer is adamant about the fact that the airline’s operations will not be affected by the move. “The only noticeable effect the move may have on the airline, may be the slowness of all action pertaining to the website,” stated Mayer.


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December 7, 2000 - DeHavilland DHC-7's Delivered to SKY Israel

-By Eric Olson (
VANF)



JERUSALEM, Israel (VANF) - The DeHavilland Canada DHC-7 aircraft has just found another new home as SKY Israel CEO Avi Mayer announced today that the aircraft has just arrived and is available for download.

The model, which was leased from Arkia Airlines, features full moving parts courtesy of Dennis Wasnich and will serve as SKY Israel's main aircraft for regional and domestic flights.

A replacement is still being sought for the Fairchild-Dornier 328 Jet; however, Mayer was optimistic stating that a decision should be made within the coming weeks.

A number of medium range aircraft are soon to join the SKY Israel fleet with two major competitors fighting for this contract. Boeing, with the 737 Next Generation series, and Airbus, with the A320 series, are both vying for the spot.

Mayer stated that his management currently is looking at which airliner will fill the necessary requirements best; however, a possible mixture is still an option. A decision on which jet to go with is expected within the coming weeks.


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November 29, 2000 - SKY Israel Website Passes 1,000th Visitor Mark

-By Gary Kulash (
VANF)



JERUSALEM, Israel (VANF) - [Three months] after opening its doors to the public, SKY Israel’s corporate website has passed the 1,000 hit mark. In a news conference late yesterday, CEO Avi Mayer told reporters that the Middle Eastern based company had spent Saturday night “…popping the cork and celebrating the 1,000th [visit] to our website.”

“It is indeed an important milestone in the history of SKY Israel Airlines,” Mayer said to reporters, adding that he and others within the company are hoping to “…see the number multiply in time.”

In other news today, Mayer told the media to expect a major announcement that would be of “great importance” to both the airline and the public within the next week. He would not comment on what that announcement would be regarding.


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November 24, 2000 - SKY Israel Airlines Downgrades Services

-By Eric Olson (
VANF)



JERUSALEM, Israel (VANF) - Today, SKY Israel CEO Avi Mayer announced with a heavy heart that SKY Israel would be downgrading its services to all Arab countries after taking heavy pressure from both staff members and pilots alike.

This move comes after Egypt recalled their ambassador in Tel Aviv early Tuesday morning along with the shooting of an Israeli diplomat in Amman, Jordan this past Sunday.

Services to Amman, Jordan and Cairo, Egypt will be downgraded from a daily flight to a three-times weekly flight. Along with that, service to Aqaba, Jordan and Sharm-al-Sheikh, Egypt will be ceased.

Mayer stated, "I am saddened and disappointed that we are being forced to take these steps. I hope that we may restore full services on these routes as soon as possible."

Mayer reassured the customers of SKY Israel that all domestic services will not be affected.

In other news from SKY Israel, several terrorist threats have been made against Israeli companies, therefore, security forces around the SKY Israel offices, aircraft, and other facilities have been upgraded recently due to the unrest between the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority.

Along with these latest security updates, SKY Israel personnel and passengers will now have the opportunity to ride aboard armored busses accompanied by Israel military escorts to and from Jerusalem's Atarot Airport.

Mayer summed up his remarks by stating, "We at SKY Israel hope and pray that the current violence will indeed stop, and we will be permitted to run a normal company under normal conditions."


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November 15, 2000 - SKY Israel Predicts Minimal Impact From Removal of Dornier Jets

-By Stephen Ryan (VANF)

JERUSALEM, Israel (VANF) - Arkia Airlines may have come to SKY Israel’s rescue this evening. It was announced by SKY staff that the removal of recently received Fairchild-Dornier 328’s would not have a great impact on current passenger service due to an emergency lease of three deHavilland DHC-7 aircraft.

The aircraft have been leased for a three-month period, expiring on February 15, 2001. By that time, SKY Israel officials hope to have reached a decision on a permanent replacement aircraft. The replacement would take over for the returned Dornier jets on all domestic and regional routes.

In related news this evening, SKY Israel’s last Dornier 328 is scheduled to be flown back to Fairchild’s European manufacturing plant in Germany on Sunday.

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November 10, 2000 - SKY Israel Leases Boeing 777-300ERs

-By Eric Olson (VANF)


JERUSALEM, Israel (VANF) - CEO Avi Mayer of SKY Israel announced today that his organization would be leasing two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from Clipper Airways for the month of December.

These two aircraft will be put to use on two different routes running on alternate days excluding Saturdays when no routes are flown. One route named will run from Tel-Aviv to London to New York City, the other route will run from Tel-Aviv to New York City to Los Angeles.

The aircraft have been partially repainted leaving most of the Clipper livery intact, however, the titles have been replaced by SKY Israel titles including many Jewish symbols for the coming Hanukkah festival.

Formal Airlines will provide connecting flight services from New York’s John F. Kennedy airport whose service covers the entire United States.

Clipper, Formal, and SKY Israel hope that this partnership symbolizes the continuation of their latest search for cooperation within the hobby. All airlines in this agreement hope that their partnerships will continue in the future in one form or another.

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November 1, 2000 - SKY Israel Continues Partner Search,
Alleges Racism In Industry

 

-By Gary Kulash (VANF)

 

JERUSALEM, Israel (VANF) - Less than 24 hours after signing a code-share agreement with the British based easyJet Virtual Airlines, officials at SKY Israel are today reported to be continuing their search for several more code-sharing partner companies. 

In a press release that was issued earlier this week, CEO Avi Mayer announced to the media that the Israeli based carrier was “in the midst of very intensive talks with a number of virtual airlines,” in what was described as being an “…attempt to negotiate code-sharing agreements.” 

Although he refused to comment upon what exact companies the carrier had entered into negotiations with, Mayer did verify that the airlines involved were all from three separate continents, adding that each of them had an “…extensive network in their region.” 

“In nearly all cases,” Mayer added, “the agreements involve joint operation on routes to and from Tel Aviv, as well as connecting flights on both sides. With each of the virtual airlines involved, it has been agreed that services to and from Tel Aviv would be operated utilizing their aircraft until we are able to provide our own, at which point services with both virtual airlines’ aircraft would commence.” 

Hoping for the negotiations to come to an end within less than a month, Mayer told reporters that SKY Israel is anxious to begin its joint operations venture as soon as possible. 

In order to support its taste for expansion, SKY Israel is now looking into purchasing several medium-range aircraft, according to corporate spokespeople. The Middle Eastern based company has already reportedly entered into purchasing talks with several different commercial aircraft manufacturers. 

Not all of SKY Israel’s negotiations have been going as planned, though. According to Mayer, the carrier ran into a wall of fire from one airline’s pilot, who made what he described as being “…seemingly racist remarks…that forced [us] to terminate [that talks].” 

Mayer, who didn’t specify what derogatory comments were made by that pilot, went on to allege that the carrier’s employees “…seemed to be against the idea of becoming involved with an Israeli airline,” citing that the aviators apparently wanted nothing to do with a “country at war.” 

“It becomes apparent that the unsavory traits of racism and hate have somehow found their way into the industry, and it remains up to us to eliminate it,” Mayer told the media. 

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October 8, 2000 - Statement from President and CEO Avi Mayer
Jerusalem, Israel

 

SKY Israel CEO Avi Mayer has issued the following statement: "I would like to announce that although our 3rd Fairchild-Dornier 328JET is due to delivery in 10 days, on October 13, it has been decided to put that and all further orders on hold. It has been discovered by SKY Israel that Fairchild-Dornier recently backed out of a deal that would ensure the manufacture of the company's 428JET aircraft in Israel. We do not yet have confirmation on why they have decided to cancel the deal, which was made with Israel Aircraft Industries, but until we do, all deals are OFF. If it turns out the motive was even remotely political, the deal for the next 4 aircraft will be cancelled entirely, and our 2 brand new aircraft will be returned. Our research teams are looking into the matter, and we hope to get some answers very soon. They certainly have a lot of explaining to do at Fairchild- Dornier. If the worst occurs and we are forced to return the aircraft, they will have to be replaced immediately. Preliminary research into that is also being conducted at this time."

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September 3, 2000 - First SKY Israel Aircraft Arrives in Tel Aviv

-By Eric J. Olson (VANF):


Moods were jubilant at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv this past Sunday as SKY Israel's first aircraft, a Fairchild-Dornier 328 Jet, touched down marking the airline's first delivery from the Germany company.

This historic flight also marks the first scheduled flight to Eilat, and Ovda, which will be among the first routes to be served by SKY Israel. These routes were served shortly after the ceremony carrying the airline's executives and honored guests.

The ceremony, which lasted approximately an hour and a half, was held in the presence of SKY Israel executives, management, and employees, as well as Fairchild-Dornier representatives, Israeli government officials, and various other members of the general public.

The Dornier 328 departed from Oberpfaffenhoffen, Germany at 7:01 AM Sunday morning after a modest ceremony at Fairchild-Dornier's German facilities. The aircraft then stopped at Athinai International Airport in Athens, Greece for a one-hour refueling and was once again bound for Tel Aviv by 10:15 AM.

Avi Mayer, President and CEO of SKY Israel, stated that the new aircraft will be applied to these routes this coming week. Mayer also added that five more Fairchild-Dornier 328 Jet aircraft are scheduled for delivery within the next few months.

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August 20 - SKY Israel Releases New Corporate Website 
-By Gary Kulash (VANF): 

Moments after notifying the media that SKY Israel was to become an independently owned and operated airline, Avi Mayer reported that the company had released its new corporate website. The page was launched just earlier today as officials from Formal Airlines attended the carrier’s board of directors meeting in Israel. 

Mayer said, “The new website is full of the latest news pertaining to SKY Israel. There is also an operations center, an information area, a contact page, and [more].” 

In other news today, SKY Israel officials are coping with their upcoming independence from Formal Airlines, which voted to allow the carrier to become an entity of its own earlier today. Corporate spokespeople said that the airline would be purchasing some six Dornier 328JETs in order to support expanded operations. Those German manufactured regional aircraft will also be replacing the company’s aging Boeing 737-200s that had been leased from Arkia. The Dornier aircraft are scheduled to be delivered starting September 3.

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August 20 - Formal Airlines Reports Board Conference A Success 
-By Gary Kulash (VANF): 

After literally months of planning and preparations, Formal Airlines’ official Board of Directors conference in Israel was reported to be a full success this morning. Earlier today, Vice President Avi Mayer told the media that the conference had taken place inside of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem this afternoon, with official talks and meetings beginning just after 2:30PM local time. 

The meeting, which had initially been scheduled to take place earlier this morning, was apparently delayed according to news reports by “…Israeli-Palestinian peace talks being held at the King David Hotel.” 

Among those present at the conference earlier today were CEO Michael Strongin, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Eliyahu Cooper, External Advisor Michal Kessler, and Mayer himself. 

The Formal Airlines meeting resulted in several serious changes coming to the carrier. Among the decisions voted upon was the choice to shut down the company’s Tel Aviv hub immediately, transferring all of that base’s pilots to the airline’s John F. Kennedy International hub in New York City. Mayer said that board members also voted to not renew any leases that the company currently holds for more than 20 commercial aircraft. Those planes will all reportedly be returned to their respective owners after the lease expires. 

Those weren’t the only changes that were voted on by airline executives, though. Formal Airlines also is slated to revamp its entire New York hub shortly, with an already outlined plan to dramatically alter the base’s route structure and expansion to cover the entire eastern half of the United States. 

Mayer said that he and others also came to the decision to “…place a mega order with Airbus Industries and with Canada’s Bombardier…to replace the rented fleet with a more suitable one for the airline’s new operations.” 

In order to cope with that choice, airline executives have already made moves to purchase some 50 plus commercial aircraft, with options for an additional 20 over the course of the next several years. 

Among the most major decisions voted upon by staff members earlier this afternoon was the choice to allow the carrier’s subsidiary company, SKY Israel Airlines, to become an independent entity and operate on its own. That Tel Aviv based company was opened as a Formal Airlines division several months ago. 

Mayer said that the more than two hour long conference was “…very friendly and courteous, even when sensitive subjects arose.” 

All of the voted upon changes to Formal Airlines and its subsidiary, SKY Israel, are scheduled to go into effect on September 1 of this year. 

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August 1, 2000 - Formal Airlines conference postponed

Jerusalem, Israel

 

The Executive Board of Formal Airlines has decided to postpone the Jerusalem 2000 Conference until further notice. The conference was set to take place this coming Sunday, August 6th, at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The postponement has mostly religious motives behind it, as the date falls out during the so-called "Nine Days", during which all Jews are supposed to commemorate the nine days between the day the Roman general Titus destroyed the walls of Jerusalem, and the day he destroyed the Holy Temple. Due to the festive atmosphere the conference is bound to take on, as there is to be a celebration marking the airline's first birthday and SKY Israel's inauguration during the event, it has been decided to cancel the current date. A new date has not yet been set, but it is expected that it will probably fall out during the week starting August 13th (possibly on the 17th) or the week beginning August 20th. A press release announcing the new date will be published shortly.

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August 1, 2000 - SKY Israel decides to purchase 6 Dornier aircraft

Jerusalem, Israel

 

It was announced this morning that the management of SKY Israel Airlines has decided to purchase six (6) Dornier Do.328JET aircraft. The German-made aircraft will be the first aircraft to actually be purchased by SKY Israel, and will replace two (2) Boeing 737-200s currently leased from Arkia. The first aircraft is set to be delivered on September 3rd, when it will fly to Sde Dov Airport in northern Tel Aviv from Dornier's manufacturing plant in Oberpfaffenhofen. After the traditional water-pump salute and a ceremony on the tarmac, the aircraft will perform SKY Israel's first scheduled flight to the Red Sea town of Eilat. After another gala ceremony it will take off back toward Tel Aviv, only to take off to Ovda, another airport in Israel's south. The aircraft will be joined by another two Dornier Do.328JETs in mid-September and early October, respectively. Those two aircraft will inaugurate scheduled services to Jerusalem, Haifa and Rosh Pinna, as well as the airline's first international services to Amman and Larnaca. Three more deliveries, once monthly during November, December and January 2001, will complete the delivery. The Boeing 737-200s will be taken out of service as of January 1st, 2001. A high-ranking airline official noted how this was just the beginning of a predicted "wave" of aircraft purchases. "The IPO raised so much money, we just simply don't have anything to do with it!", he said. "We're looking toward expansion. Major expansion," said the official.

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July 31, 2000 - SKY Israel secretly publishes first website

Jerusalem, Israel

 

SKY Israel Airlines' official website was secretly published this evening. Present at the unveiling were Executive Director Avi Mayer, as well as parent-company Formal Airlines executives Michael Strongin and Eliyahu Cooper. The site was published in order to offer the three executives a sneak preview of it, and in order to ensure that the site had no glitches. The management of SKY Israel has decided not to reveal the site's URL until the Formal Airlines Executive Board Conference, set to take place this Sunday at the King David hotel in Jerusalem.  

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