El Al, Pilots Work Out Labor Issues

YERUSHALAYIM -
EL AL planes at Ben Gurion International Airport. Photo by Moshe Shai/FLASH90
El Al planes. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

After a week of work slowdowns and organized “sick days,” El Al pilots are set to come to an agreement with management on the leasing of planes – and pilots – from other companies. According to a report in business daily Globes, El Al has agreed not to lease planes anymore, instead using El Al planes and crews on all flights.

El Al had over the past month leased planes for several of its flights to Europe and the U.S., claiming that pilots were making excessive demands on a new contract that is being negotiated. Management was said to fear that pilots would walk off the job over the negotiations, causing canceled flights and delays, and in order to prevent that, the company increased the number of planes it was leasing.

The change elicited angry reactions from the pilots’ union, with pilots calling in sick en masse several days last week. The work action caused numerous delays on flights over the past week.

In a statement, the union representing the pilots said that “based on our sense of responsibility and concern for the future of the company, it was agreed that El Al will end its leasing of planes and crews, and the flights will be handled by El Al pilots.” El Al itself had no comment.