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Israel’s Finance Ministry and Israeli Airlines Reach Agreement

Two-day strike ends after ministry increases security funding

By: Leonard Carl
Published: April 23rd, 2013 in Business » Israel

Despite the Israeli government signing the “Open Skies” agreement on April 21, three Israeli airlines - El Al, Arkia and Israir - ended their two-day strike after an agreement was reached between El Al and Israel’s Finance Ministry.

The ministry agreed to fund 97.5 percent of El Al’s security costs, a significant increase from 70 percent, to allow Israel’s national airline to remain competitive under the new agreement with the European Union.

The three Israeli airlines began their strike just before the European-Mediterranean Sea aviation agreement was approved by Israel's Cabinet. The Open Skies agreement, which allows European airlines to increase their flights to Israel for five years, is expected to reduce the costs of airline tickets for Israelis flying to Europe.

The Finance Ministry said it had reached an agreement on security issues with El Al but did not provide details. The Histadrut, Israel's main labour federation, said the state would finance 97.5 percent of Israeli airlines' security costs.

"Too bad it took two days of strike and damage to hundreds of thousands of citizens to reach an agreement that could have been done last Friday," the Histadrut said.

Related articles: El Al, Israel, Airlines, Strike, Open Skies
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