El Al has been hit by a crippling strike which has seen all flights cancelled today (Monday) between 05.00 and 21.00.

The dispute, which also affects departures from Arkia and Israir, follows the signing of an Open Skies agreement between Israel and the European Union which staff fear will mean more competition and job losses.

Some flights from Tel Aviv were moved forward this morning in order to bear the cut-off point, but the Israeli flag carrier’s website does not show any departures until this evening.

The Israeli cabinet voted 19-3 in favour of Open Skies after more than three years of talks. Easyjet already operates to Tel Aviv from London and Manchester and is likely to expand choice on the route following the accord.

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