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Airlines strike in protest against Israeli-European Union open skies agreement

February 15, 2014 at 1:28 pm

At five o’clock on Sunday morning, Israeli airlines El Al, Erkia and Asrauar went on strike in protest against the open skies agreement that was signed with the European Union. This agreement aims to increase competition between flights to and from the country.

During the night there was discontent amongst passengers of the three companies’ at Ben-Gurion airport. An announcement declared that the departure time of approximately 20 flights would take place earlier than scheduled, before the strike entered into force; another 7 flights were cancelled.

Histadrut chairman, Ofer Eini, called on the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to take this “historic and devastating” decision regarding the open skies agreement.

Eini considered that the implementation of this agreement, in its current wording, could lead to a total collapse of the Israeli aviation sector thus affecting the livelihood of thousands of Israeli families.

Governmental sources anticipated that the Cabinet would approve the agreement by a majority vote of its members. But in its Sunday edition, Yediot Ahronot newspaper reported that ministers have not yet been informed of the content of a report prepared by the Ministry of Transportation and warns of the possibility of the collapse of the El Al company if this agreement enters into force.

The Histadrut chairman said that this report was hidden from the public and has not been presented to government members.