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Arkia Airlines has unleashed its legal beagles to fight the permission El Al received to fly a regular line between Ben Gurion Airport in central Israel and Eilat.

Arkia argues that if El Al can fly to Eilat, it should in parallel be allowed to fly to destinations outside Israel to which the bigger airline presently has exclusive rights. That right follows from Israel's policy of fair competition in the aviation sector, Arkia argues.

Yesterday Arkia wrote to Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, demanding clarifications as to whether he "really" means to let El Al fly to Eilat while in parallel implementing a policy of competition and equal opportunity. The letter was signed by Arkia's legal counsels: Dror Strum, formerly the antitrust commissioner, Avner Yarkoni and Moshe Leshem.

Since previous correspondence indicates that to be the situation, the Arkia lawyers write, they would appreciate the ministry saying so explicitly, so it can plan as needed.