The Transport Minister said that civil servants should only fly on Israeli airlines.
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Managers of foreign airlines operating in Israel are angry with Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz over his call earlier this week to require civil servants during the current security situation to fly only on Israeli airlines El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL), Arkia Airlines Ltd. and Israir Airlines and Tourism Ltd..
This anger was reflect in a letter faxed to Katz by United Airline Israel Managing Director Avi Friedman, chairman of the foreign airlines representatives in Israel. He wrote, “We the managers of foreign airlines in Israel are dismayed and protest your statement on the subject of your complete and unreserved support for Israeli airlines regarding the damage caused by Operation Protective Edge to the aviation sector. We can say that Operation Protective Edge hits us, the foreign airlines, to the same extent and even more than Israeli companies. However, we are trying to behave sensibly and diplomatically and convey a message of business as usual and primarily to abstain from creating an atmosphere that will deter businesspeople and tourists from coming to Israel.”
The letter continues, “The Israeli companies are not alone in this situation. The heavy price for cancellations, the halt in future bookings, and the emptying of planes in Israel is being paid by us too and big time. The continued regular operations of foreign airlines in Israel during a war cannot be taken for granted. In particular when the entire country is the front line and rocket barrages are being fired at civilian populations throughout the country.”
Airlines represented in the letter also include British Airways, Delta, Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com – on July 17, 2014