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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israir’

Airline Strike Ends after Deal with El Al

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

The Histadrut national labor union has called off its planned shutdown of Ben Gurion Airport Tuesday morning, and workers of Israeli airlines have ended their strike following a special agreement between the government and El Al.

The agreement was signed Monday evening in Israel, less than two hours before the Labor Court was to meet on a petition to issue an injunction against shutting down the airport.

Flights of El Al, Israir and Arkia airlines have been grounded since Sunday because of the Open Skies agreement that the Cabinet approved at the beginning of the week.

The Finance Ministry agreed to reimburse El Al for almost of all of its extraordinary security expenses, which make it less competitive against European airlines that can fly more planes to Israel under the Open Skies agreement.

Union to Ground All Ben Gurion Flights for Five Hours Tuesday

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

The Histadrut national labor union will shut down Ben Gurion Airport for five hours Tuesday morning in a solidarity move with employees of El Al, Arkia and Israir. They shut down the three airlines starting Sunday morning because of their opposition to the “open-skies” agreement, which will not go into effect until next April.

Tuesday’s strike will start at 5 a.m. and end at 10 a.m., a period in which there are fewer flights than in the afternoon. However, it could be the opening shot towards a total shutdown unless the government and airline employees can come to an agreement to alter the agreement that the Cabinet approved Sunday morning.

The employees of El Al, Arkia and Israir are concerned about possible layoffs because the agreement is designed to increase competition and lower air fares.

The government has argued that the agreement will create jobs by increasing tourism, but that will not necessarily help the Israeli airlines.

Management of El Al also is against the agreement, maintaining that it gives foreign airlines an unfair advantage over the national carriers and allows more landings for European airlines while not offering El Al similar opportunities in Europe.

Cabinet Approves ‘Open Skies’ Agreement and Skies Stayed Closed

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

El Al has cancelled all flights that were scheduled to take off before 9 p.m. (2 p.m. EDT) as its workers continue to strike even after the Cabinet approved the European-Mediterranean Sea “Open Skies” aviation agreement. Click here to understand the agreement and why the unions are striking.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “The goal of the reform that we approved today is to lower the prices of flights to and from Israel and to increase incoming tourism.”

Employees of El Al, Arkia and Israir airlines are out to prove the opposite and have announced that the strike will continue until further notice.The cancelled Arkia flights seriously affect tourism in Eilat.

The strike does not affect other airlines, and thousands of furious passengers, besides cursing the airlines, have vowed never to fly with them again.

Israeli Airlines Grounded on Day 1 of Anti ‘Open Skies’ Policy

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

The Israeli government is expected to approve today, Sunday, the Open Skies agreement enabling free competition for foreign airlines flying into Israel from Europe. Workers for the Israeli airlines are adamantly opposed to the agreement, which they say would wreck their industry, and so they went on strike at 5:00 AM, effectively disabling all the flights scheduled to depart from Israel.

The three local airlines, El-Al, IsrAir and Arkia, had been planning for the strike, and so they switched many flights to 4:50 AM, so that passengers could leave the country as planned.

Negotiations between the country’s major trades union, the Histadrut, and the Ministry of Transport over the free competition agreement was halted on Friday, and so far there have been no contacts between the two sides to renew talks.

The planned Open Skies will allow, over the next five years, a gradual process for many European airlines to run flights from Israel to the mainland and back. The main goal of the reform instituted by the Ministry of Transport is to encourage competition between companies, thereby reducing the prices for the Israeli consumer.

In addition, Israelis will now be able fly directly to destinations that currently are not reached from Israel.

Israeli airline employees have stressed in press interviews that they are not against the agreement, despite the strike. Avi Edri, Chairman of the Histadrut Transport Workers Union, clarified that he was “in favor of ‘open skies,’ and for benefiting the consumers, but not this way.” As he puts it, “the agreement as it is, without the needed adjustments to protect the Israeli companies, is a death sentence for these companies. You can’t enter the competition when the two sides are not equal, and the Ministry of Transport, unfortunately, favors the foreign companies.”

Among other things, the striking employees demand an added clause in the agreement, allowing Israeli companies to run lines to the same destinations as foreign companies would be given as part of the agreement..

Hours before the government discussion of the proposed treaty, Channel 10 News exposed an internal document of the Ministry of Transport warning against the collapse of El-Al as a result of implementing the Open Skies deal. Among other things, the report warns of El-Al going bankrupt and defaulting on its debts, in which case the Israeli government would have to funnel in funds to keep it alive, nationalize it temporarily, or turn it into a state enterprise.

Unions Threaten To Ground El Al Flights Sunday

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Unions at El Al, Arkia and Israir Airlines announced Thursday they will ground all planes beginning Sunday if the government carries outs plan to approve the open skies agreement at Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting.

El Al workers committee chairman Asher Edry told Globes, “We demand that all the promises made to us before the agreement was signed, i.e. the issuing of slots at key European airports, code-sharing with foreign airlines, which have been blocked, and so forth, be implemented in full.”

Histadrut Transport Workers Union chairman Avi Edry said, “The agreement in its present form will destroy Israeli aviation and cost tens of thousands of jobs in the industry without protecting Israeli aviation and will make Israeli airlines hostages paying for passenger security, landing rights at key airports, and so on.”

El Al also is against the agreement. Its CEO Eliezer Shkedy has stated that the open skies agreement will result in greater competition in the aviation industry and harm the company’s business.

Travelers to and from Israel are advised to follow updates Saturday night before arriving at the airport for flights that might be affected by a strike.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/unions-threaten-to-ground-el-al-flights-sunday/2013/04/18/

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