Israel airlines strike over ‘open-skies’ plan

Jerusalem. The Israeli government has approved an Open Skies deal with European carriers, as local airline workers went on strike with hundreds burning tyres outside the prime minister’s office in protest against the plan.

Jerusalem. The Israeli government has approved an Open Skies deal with European carriers, as local airline workers went on strike with hundreds burning tyres outside the prime minister’s office in protest against the plan.

Israel’s three airlines - El Al, Arkia and Israir - are opposed to the deal, saying it would result in widespread layoffs.

“The goal of the reform we approved today is to reduce the costs of flights to and from Israel and to increase incoming tourism,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Sunday, saying the deal had been in the works for “many years”.

“We will continue to advance reforms to reduce the cost of living and increase the efficiency of services to Israelis,” he said.

Netanyahu said the finance and tourism ministers would have 45 days to address questions raised during the discussion which took place before the deal was approved by the cabinet.

Staff of El Al and charter firms Arkia and Israir stopped work at 5:00am local time (02:00 GMT) on Sunday but did not say how long the stoppage would last.

“Implementing the Open Skies agreement in its current format will have severe ramifications which would fatally and irreversibly harm civilian aviation in Israel,” Histadrut trade union chairman Ofer Eini said in a letter to Netanyahu.

Subscribe to The New Times E-Paper


You want to chat directly with us? Send us a message on WhatsApp at +250 788 310 999    

 

Follow The New Times on Google News