Watchdog to probe sudden price hikes on Uman flights

The Israel Antitrust Authority to examine why prices on Uman-bound flights skyrocket preceding the Rosh Hashana holiday.

Tzvi Lev,

Airplane plane landing
Airplane plane landing

The Israel Antitrust Authority will probe why prices skyrocket on Ukraine-bound flights shortly before tens of thousands of Jews flock to Uman for the Rosh Hashana holiday.

"We thought there was room for a deeper examination on our part in order to identify possible market failures," said Antitrust Authority Commissioner Michal Halperin, who added that she will talk with the leading travel agencies in Israel.

Recently, the Knesset's Economics Committee held a special debate over the irregular ticket prices to Uman. According to analysts, airline companies are illegally colluding together in order to cause prices to skyrocket from the usual $300 to more than $1000 on average.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, founder of the Breslov Hassidic movement, was buried in the Ukrainian town of Uman 207 years ago.

Followers of Rebbe Nachman made regular pilgrimages to his tomb, though the annual tradition was largely abandoned during the Cold War.

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the end of the Cold War, however, led to a resurgence in the traditional Rosh Hashana visits to Uman, which by the early 2000s began to draw wider appeal even beyond the Breslov movement.

The Uman pilgrimage drew a record 40,000 participants this past September, up from some 30,000 in 2016.