Monday, April 22, 2013

Striking Against Open Skies

Over the weekend Israeli airline workers went on strike to protest Israel's new open skies agreement with the European Union. Numerous flights were cancelled as a result of the two-day strike, which ended today. In the first linked article, a quoted union representative characterizes the worker's stance as supporting competition if it is fair. The Israeli carriers have raised two areas of concern with regard to fairness in competition: their exclusion from the most powerful international airline alliances and Israel's stricter security standards. To end the strike, the Israeli government reportedly addressed the latter concern by agreeing to pay 98 percent of the carrier's security costs. While it's hardly unprecedented for airlines and unions to oppose liberalization, the international aviation community's growing concern with "fairness," a trend that was on display at ICAO's Air Transport Conference last month, warrants attention.

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