Poland and Israel will begin regular airline service between their countries for the first time since Israel was founded, a spokesman for the Polish airline LOT said Monday.

LOT this month starts once-a-week flights to Tel Aviv, while the Israeli carrier El Al will expand from charters to scheduled service, said LOT spokesman Jerzy Wojdyllo.Before World War II, LOT planes flew to Lod in what was then Palestine. Service was suspended when Israel was created in 1948.

The El Al service will start March 28, and the first LOT flight will be March 30, Wojdyllo said.

The round-trip fare will cost about $500, Wojdyllo said.

El Al has run charter flights to Poland for more than a year.

"We see it as just keeping things normal. It is normal that two countries have air links," an Israeli diplomat said.

There were about 5,000 Polish visitors to Israel in 1988, and about 10,000 Israelis visited Poland, the diplomat said.