Israeli airlines – trying to change reality

What else must happen to change the absurd‫ ‬structure of the Israeli airline sector?

If someone in the three Israeli airlines expected a miracle, reality hit hard earlier this week when Israel and the EU signed an initial comprehensive aviation agreement.

The agreement will soon be ratified by the Israeli government and the EU parliament.

The agreement will be fully implemented in a process that will take five years, and is expected to start in the next few months. This will allow Israeli airlines to get ready for expected greater competition.

The agreement will allow all EU airlines to operate direct flights to Israel from anywhere in the EU, and Israeli carriers will be able to operate flights to airports throughout the EU.

The EU-Israel air transport market will be opened gradually, so that by the start of the summer season in 2017 the market will be fully open, with no restrictions on the number of weekly flights between Israel and the EU.

Based on the experience of similar agreements signed with other EU-neighbour countries, the gradual opening of the market is expected to encourage a larger number of direct flights from Israel to destinations in Europe at lower prices. This will also reduce flight prices to Israel for European travellers.

In parallel with gradually opening up the respective markets, the agreement also aims to integrate Israel into a wider Common Aviation Area with the EU.

Israel will implement regulatory requirements and standards equivalent to EU aviation rules in areas such as aviation safety, environment, consumer protection – including passenger rights – air traffic management, economic regulation, competition issues and social aspects.

As I wrote a few days ago, only a complete reshape of the Israeli airline sector will allow them to compete in a market with completely new rules.

How typical, a day after the initial signing, that the Israeli workers’ union has declared a work dispute with the three airlines, claiming that the signing breached promises made by the minister of transport.

Someone thinks that by slowdowns or strikes the wheel will stop turning.

That someone is making a big mistake.

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One Response to Israeli airlines – trying to change reality

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