Since its formation in 1950, Arkia Israeli Airlines, Ltd. (also known as Arkia Israel Airlines) has become one of the most recognizable airlines in Israel. With flights to and from destinations across the world, Arkia has become the country's leading domestic carrier and the second largest international carrier, providing a convenient and comfortable way to travel within Israel and to other countries.
Arkia was founded by the Government of Israel in 1950 and was initially called 'Air Service Company'. Its first flight was a single-engine de Havilland Dove that flew from Tel Aviv to Eilat. Throughout the 1950s, Arkia continued to expand, adding flights to a number of destinations in Israel and other Middle Eastern countries.
In the 1960s, Arkia adopted the name 'Arkia Israeli Airlines' and began to introduce new, more modern aircraft to its fleet. The airline's first jet, a de Havilland Comet 4, was introduced in 1964, and in 1966, the first of Arkia's Boeing 707s was added to the fleet.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Arkia continued to grow, adding new routes and more modern aircraft. In 1977, the airline introduced its first wide-body aircraft, the Boeing 747. By the end of the decade, Arkia was operating flights to Europe, Africa, and the United States.
In the late 1990s, Arkia began to expand its services to include charter flights to a number of destinations around the world, including Basel, Milan, and Paris. The airline also began offering low-cost flights to destinations within Israel.
In the 2000s, Arkia continued to grow, expanding its fleet and its network of destinations. The airline's first Airbus A321 was introduced in 2004, and in 2007, Arkia launched its low-cost subsidiary, Israir. Israir eventually became a full-service airline, and in 2009, Arkia purchased a majority stake in the company.
In 2012, Arkia launched its first international long-haul flight, a route from Tel Aviv to New York City. The airline also began offering flights to destinations in the Far East, including Bangkok and Tokyo.
In recent years, Arkia has continued to expand its fleet and its network of destinations. The airline now offers flights to more than 50 destinations across the world and operates a fleet of more than 80 aircraft.
In terms of safety, Arkia has had a good record, with no major incidents in its history. The airline has also been involved in some federal investigations, including one in 2015 when the Israeli Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) opened an investigation into the airline's safety procedures. However, the investigation eventually closed with no safety concerns.
Overall, Arkia Israeli Airlines has come a long way since its formation in 1950. From its first single-engine de Havilland Dove to its modern fleet of wide-bodied jets, the airline has continued to grow and evolve over the years. Offering flights to more than 50 destinations across the world, Arkia has become the second largest international carrier in Israel and a major player in the global aviation industry.