the mother High Court Will lead to a change in the airport layout that includes too many question marks? Israir The petition approach in which it seeks to allow the sale to continue Flight tickets To green countries on existing flights.
The petition follows the outline of the airport, according to which only those who have purchased flight tickets by September 25 at 14:00 can leave Israel. Some have already defined this outline as discriminatory (between citizens who can leave the country because they managed to purchase a plane ticket, and those who have not). This is an outline that has already created an opening for a “maneuver” that will allow the sale of tickets with a “valid” date that passengers may be required to present if asked on the way to the airport.
If that’s not enough, a second-hand market for tickets purchased on time is already in place: Passengers holding a ticket purchased before September 25 offer tickets for sale to green countries – where buyers can change the passenger’s name according to the ticket terms (and therefore additional cost).
Shortly after the outline went into effect, Israir stopped selling tickets for the scheduled flights. Even for EL AL flights that are scheduled to take place in early October – tickets cannot be purchased in the reservation systems.
The summary of Israir’s claims, which reflect the problems faced by all those involved in the industry (who are eager to see if the court will find it appropriate to change the outline, but do not take similar steps themselves to increase the pressure), refer to a number of sections. The first of these is the Basic Law of Human Dignity and Liberty, according to which every person is free to leave Israel. The Aviation Regulations, which restrict departure only to those who have managed to purchase a ticket by the specified date, are in violation of this Basic Law. Although the Ministry of Transportation allows the director general of the ministry to allow travel for exceptions, all citizens – including those who hold additional citizenship – are not allowed to leave the country.
Israir also claims that the ban is inconsistent with the provisions of section 4 of the Special Authorities for Dealing with the New Corona Virus Law (Temporary Order), 2020, which states that the government can install regulations restricting stay in public space “if it is convinced that this is necessary to prevent infection. “In the corona virus among the public and reducing its spread, reducing the extent of morbidity or protecting at-risk populations, all only for the period and to the extent necessary to achieve the said goals, after considering alternatives, the violation of rights and effects on the economy.”
Therefore, the ban on flying outside Israel during the closure period, if the flight ticket was purchased after September 25, is not necessary to prevent infection and to prevent the spread of the virus when it comes to flying to green countries. Admittedly, it is more problematic to stay in the country, despite all the restrictions imposed during the closure period, than to stay in a green country.
“Direct damage of over $ 2 million”
Moreover, according to Israir’s announcement, “the ban is also not to the extent necessary. It was possible to ban the opening of additional flights during the closure period, but to allow the departing flights to be filled, which should also return passengers who depart and want to return to Israel.” According to the company, “the damage to Israir was not sufficiently considered in light of the ban, which causes direct damage of over $ 2 million.
Finally, the only Israeli company that has not discontinued its flights in recent months claims that “the violation of Israir’s freedom of occupation is contrary to the Basic Law of Freedom of Occupation, which requires that the violation be for a proper purpose and to the extent not exceeding what is required.” Injuries to Israir to an extent that exceeds what is required. “
The IATA airport organization did not encounter a similar flight plan in other countries. Even before the petition was filed, the organization’s director general in Israel, Kobi Sussman, contacted Transportation Minister Miri Regev regarding “the issue of setting flight ticket dates as a criterion for approving a flight to or from Israel.”
“Beyond the fact that the actual ticketing date as set does not necessarily indicate the date of booking that may be long before, cutting the booking chain will inevitably lead to a significant reduction in the number of passengers in a way that will probably (and beyond all existing difficulties) stop civil flights to Israel or As a result, even those passengers who purchased the flight tickets before the set date (whether they are going to Israel or those who are supposed to return to it) will be harmed and in fact will be left without a solution. “
Sussman believes that “other proportionate alternative solutions can be found that will provide reasonable minimum conditions that will allow flights to continue, and on the other hand allow for dealing with the corona virus, EU policy is just one example of this.”
“Occupancy of less than 60% is loss-making”
In the petition, filed on behalf of Israir by attorneys Roi Belcher and Guy Zeevi of Crispin Rubinstein Belcher & Co., Israir wonders not only about the same ban on Israelis leaving the country if they did not purchase a plane ticket by September 25, but also “why less offensive alternatives will be considered.” With the provisions of the Basic Law on Human Dignity and Liberty and the Basic Law on Freedom of Occupation. “
Israir details the damage caused to it as a operator of flights to green countries from which there is no obligation to isolate landers in Israel, while emphasizing that it resumed its operations based on the sky-opening model presented in August. Moreover – it is not clear how long the regulations that partially close the sky are valid – the deadline stated in their documents is October 1, this date is expected to extend until October 11, and now according to government statements the closure itself may extend beyond that.
Israir details the enormous damage it will suffer when some of the seats on flights scheduled before the guidelines were supposed to be sold after the deadline set by the government, “as a result there is no justification or economic viability to take out approved flights The costs of departing flights are almost empty. “
For the sake of consideration, the company lists future flights and the “cut-off” occupancy rates following the decision and the fact that passengers wait with their bookings until the last minute: the occupancy rate on flights scheduled for 27.9 to 3.10 was 85%, while currently after stopping bookings, flight occupancy rate Intended for the date, stood at 29% and the following week at 5%. “Anyone with a little knowledge of aviation knows that occupancy of less than 60% is loss-making.”
The company also mentions that in any case, everyone who arrives at the Ben Gurion Airport flight is required to present current corona test results (in accordance with the policies of many countries) along with heat tests and health declarations – with a view to reducing the spread of corona virus in the context of those leaving Israel.
“This is one of those rare cases where the rational connection test is not met,” it was argued of the “hasty and arbitrary regulation obtained without a minimal examination of the facts and figures, and also therefore liable to be disqualified.” They also requested that the court hear the application urgently in light of the tight schedule.
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