Thousands of passengers were stranded on Monday as employees of Israel’s three airlines went on strike for a second day to protest a government decision lift restrictions on European airlines under an Open Skies deal.
All flights from Tel Aviv of El Al, Arkia and Israir were cancelled, a spokeswoman for Ben-Gurion Airport confirmed.
Israel’s trade unions have threatened to broaden the strike on Tuesday to a complete shut down of Ben-Gurion Airport, affecting also incoming flights and foreign airlines. They say the deal will force Israeli carriers to cut jobs.
The strike began early Sunday after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet voted to ratify the Open Skies agreement with the European Union. The government says the deal would lower prices and boost tourism to Israel.
Under the deal signed last year, restrictions on European airlines will be totally lifted by 2017. Restrictions on Israeli airlines operating flights to Europe will also be removed.