Israeli airlines to strike over open skies plan

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Associated Press

Posted on April 20, 2013 at 2:02 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Three Israeli airlines are to set to strike over an open skies agreement that workers say will threaten their jobs.

Avi Edri, the head of Israel's transportation union, says all outgoing Israeli airline flights will cease at 5 a.m. Sunday (local time).

The government on Sunday is to discuss the proposed agreement, which would open Israeli airspace to European carriers and increase competition.

The union said Saturday that it favors an open skies policy, but only if local airlines can compete fairly and jobs aren't jeopardized.

Backers say it would boost tourism, increase the number of flights and lower ticket prices.

Critics say it is unfair to Israeli airlines because with smaller fleets and extra costs, like security fees, they won't be able to compete with cheaper international flights.

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