In recent years, the prices of flights to Uman have increased by hundreds of percentage points near Rosh Hashana, following trips by chassidim and many others to the tziyun of Rav Nachman of Breslov. In a discussion held at the Knesset Economic Committee, there was concern that prices were being coordinated between the airlines.
As a result, the chairman of the committee, MK Eitan Cabel, approached the head of the Antitrust Authority, Michal Halperin, to intervene in the matter. In a letter received about two months ago, the Director-General announced that as a result of a new agreement with the Aviation Authority in Ukraine, the number of available seats for flights to Uman would be increased, and prices would therefore fall.
Cabe explained, “50,000 mispallalim head to the tziyun in Uman, and they are known to be a ‘captive audience’ who will pay any price to go for Rosh Hashanah. This is blatant abuse of the passengers’ condition.”
In response to the letter, the commissioner wrote that “following an initial examination of the allegations raised, we held an internal discussion and thought that there was a need for a deeper examination by us of the industry’s conduct of the flights to Uman in order to identify possible market failures. In order to examine the allegations in depth, By virtue of section 46 (b) of the Antitrust Law to the leading travel agencies operating in the field.”
The chairman of the Knesset Economics Committee, MK Eitan Cabel, said, “As I have said in the past, there is a serious concern that the airlines cynically exploit the visitors to Uman to the tziyun of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov. It seems that the hasty and insane rise in prices before Rosh Hashanah, when the price of a single ticket can reach $1,200 and the rest of the year around $ 200-300, is not just a matter of supply and demand.
As I promised, I continue my activity with the Antitrust Commissioner, who, following my repeated requests, decided to intensify the investigation – I will not give up until the situation changes and the prices are fair for all.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)