Daily Israel Report

Netanyahu Welcomes End of Airline Strike

"We will continue to make additional reforms to increase competition,” says Netanyahu after airlines agree to end strike.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 4/23/2013, 4:43 AM

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed on Monday night the end of the strike by airline workers, and said that the “Open Skies” program was only one in a series of reforms he plans to implement.

“It is good that the strike, which was declared following our decision to open the skies to competition, has come to an end," Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page. "The strike caused unnecessary harm to Israeli travelers and tourists."

"I always believed that competition is the key to improving the efficiency of the economy, to improving the service to the public and, first and foremost, to lowering prices,” he added.

Netanyahu said, “This is what guided us in the reform we led in the cellular phones, which led to a dramatic decrease in prices, this is what we are doing now in opening the flight market for competition, and we will continue to make additional reforms to break up monopolies and increase competition.”

"I'm sure that this is the right way to ensure that Israel will be a vibrant and dynamic economy that will benefit all its citizens," Netanyahu concluded.

Earlier, Israeli airlines agreed to end the strike that began Sunday morning after reaching an agreement with the Finance Ministry. 

Under the agreement reached Monday, the government will cover 98% of Israeli airlines’ security costs.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid previously declared that the strike would not change the government’s decision to approve the deal with the EU. “’Open Skies’ are a done deal,” he said.

Lapid said the airline strike was unwarranted “from start to finish.”