May 25, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
May 25, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

El Al Labor Dispute Escalates Amid Cancellations, Delays

The labor dispute between El Al Airlines and its pilots has been escalating, forcing the airline to cancel and suspend additional scheduled flights. It appears the crisis is far from being resolved as the pilots and management continue to trade barbs.

Over the weekend, flights to Bangkok, Newark, New York and Beijing were delayed, canceled or reassigned to other carriers, as El Al’s management appealed to passengers, apologizing and announcing that it was “determined to return to regular activity.”

El Al announced Sunday that in light of the dispute, it would ease its cancellation and date change policies on flights scheduled until Nov. 30, 2016, allowing customers to cancel and change flight dates without penalty.

El Al’s management further stated on Saturday night that it had learned that at an emergency meeting led by Capt. Nir Zook, head of the airline’s pilots union, it was decided to step up the sanctions to further pressure management to accept their demands.

“The results of their decision can already be seen on the ground,” the management stated. “As of now, four flights, scheduled to take off tonight, were canceled, delayed or transferred to chartered carriers.”

The airline further stated: “The pilots’ conduct is harmful not only to the passengers, but also to the airline employees, including the cabin crew and maintenance workers. Unfortunately, the pilots continue with their outrageous methods to disrupt El Al flights and hurt the passengers and the company.”

El Al’s management made several appeals to its staff after the Beijing flight captain called in sick and more than 30 first officers and captains refused to fill in for him by calling in sick or simply not answering the phone.

The pilots union issued a statement saying, “Tonight, El Al management has once again hurt hundreds of passengers by preventing them from reaching their destinations in the U.S. and the Far East. El Al flights were canceled despite having available pilots on call ready to perform their flights.”

The pilots pointed a finger at El Al CEO David Maimon: “A CEO earning more than five million shekels [about $1.3 million] a year, in the most profitable year the company has seen recently, is choosing to harm passengers to ignite a nonexistent conflict with the employees as part of a ploy to transfer as many scheduled flights to low-cost carriers. El Al pilots are available and ready to fly and the management deliberately opts to harm the passengers and unnecessarily cancel flights,” the statement further read.

By Ilan Gattegno/Israel Hayom

 

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles