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Katz: Govt. Workers Should Fly Israeli Airlines

Israeli airlines are suffering losses, and it is up to the government to help them out, said Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.
By Yaakov Levi
First Publish: 7/14/2014, 5:57 PM

El Al flight
El Al flight
Flash 90

Israeli government workers who travel abroad should be required to fly Israeli airlines, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said Monday. El Al, Arkia, and Israir have all sustained losses due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, and ensuring that airline seats are filled by government workers is the least the government could do, Katz said.

While travel agents and hotel owners reported that there have not been too many cancellations so far due to Operation Protective Edge, industry officials said that new reservations – in hotels and for incoming tour groups – had dried up, at least for the time being.

As a result, said Katz, the travel industry was likely to face a crisis later this year, as the large groups that generally arrive in Israel in the fall and winter are making their plans and reservations now.

Last week, El Al said that due to the security situation customers holding tickets for flights departing Israel on the days up to this Friday to cancel flights or postpone them for up to six months, without charging them for cancellation or postponement.