Security Shortage May Ground Arkia, Israir Flights

A shortage of security personnel may force Arkia and Israir to ground flights planned for the post-Passover season, starting in May.

El Al supplies security services to the other two Israeli airlines. Recently El Al has sought to shake off that responsibility for ensuring the safety of flights by its rivals. However, it acceded to the request of Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz and agreed to continue until the establishment of a national security authority for Israeli aviation.

The snag is that Arkia and Israir added new flights abroad during the spring and summer seasons. Last week it became apparent that security arrangements had not been made regarding certain flights scheduled for May to August. Tickets for the flights have been sold but security personnel to inspect the passengers just aren't there. The flights in question include Arkia routes to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Munich and Dublin.

A Transportation Ministry source says a solution is being arranged. Arkia and Israel chose not to comment.