Interior Minister Aryeh Deri has recently expressed concern with the high prices of tickets for those wishing to fly from Tel Aviv to Uman, to the Kever of Rav Nachman ZT”L for Rosh Hashanah. Deri promised to work to break the “cartel” responsible for the annual seasonal rise in the cost of airfare.
According to a report released by Kalkalist, the chareidi travel agents are the ones responsible for the high price of tickets to Uman for Tishrei Yomim Tovim, working against the Israel Airports Authority, which is working to reduce fares.
Thousands of Breslov Chassidim and many others are concerned with the cost of travel to Uman in Tishrei, particularly for Rosh Hashanah, for the many wishing to be mispallel at the tziyun. The cost of tickets can double for yomtov, leading Deri to announce he is working to “break the cartel” that profits at the expense of those wishing to take part in the Rosh Hashanah at the site, falling victim to price gouging.
The Ministry of Transportation last week in an unusual announcement stated that the Civil Aviation Authority appealed to its counterpart in Ukraine for a temporary permit to increase the quota of flights to Ukraine for Rosh Hashanah. The goal is to reduce fares for 20,000 travelers expected to head from Israel to Uman for Rosh Hashanah.
The Kalkalist report explains that despite these efforts, it appears the cost of tickets will not be reduced, with one of the factors being the number of flights heading to Uman, as according to Civil Aviation Authority official Yoel Feldshaw, the airport in Ukraine is full to capacity and there is no way to find an open window to add flights, despite efforts to do so to lower the cost of flights.
The Kalkalist reports another reason for increasing fares is the chareidi travel agents, who are not interest in such a move. According to them, the agents act as if they are moving mountains to lower costs, but in actuality, they are doing nothing as they are quite pleased with the sharp increase in airfare in Tishrei.
Another problem is the refusal of Rishon L’Tzion and Holon City Halls to approve an air train, permitting flights throughout the night, as the cities refuse due to the noise pollution, despite the fact this is only for a limited number of days.
Holon and Rishon L’Tzion City Halls petitioned the High Court of Justice against the takeoffs on erev Rosh Hashana during the night, explaining the noise levels are intolerable. The matter is yet to be adjudicated by the court. Attorneys Neri Yarkoni, Chen Amidor and Daniel Tamir represent the Israel Airports Authority, which seeks the authorization to permit takeoffs during the night.
One solution is for the planes to take off from Eilat to Uman instead of Ben-Gurion, but the solution does not address how the 20,000 travelers would get to Eilat. Any form of transportation would just increase the cost of travel, somewhat defeating the purpose.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)