As El Al Halts All Flights, Israel’s Aviation Industry Is At “Point Of No Return,” Ben Gurion CEO says

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Photo: El Al

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Following a labor dispute between El Al and its pilots’ union last week, the embattled airline canceled all flights and furloughed an additional 500 employees late last week, including 100 pilots.

“Since the pilots refuse to staff the flights — which include cargo flights and a limited number of passenger flights — we are forced to make personnel adjustments,” El Al stated.

Hundreds of employees of Tamam, an El Al subsidiary which provides kosher airline meals for El Al and other carriers at Ben-Gurion Airport, have also been furloughed.

Prior to the breakdown between El Al and the pilots’ union, El Al had stated it was in the final stages of reaching an agreement with the finance ministry but the agreement cannot be finalized without the approval of the El Al workers’ unions.

Meanwhile, CEO of Ben-Gurion Airport Shmuel Zakay stated earlier this week that Israel’s aviation industry was close to “the point of no return” due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Zakay, it will take months to safely and efficiently resume flights after aviation employees have been idle for months, leading to a decrease in operational efficiency.

Zakay warned that the damage to Israel’s aviation industry will lead to “massive strategic harm” and accused the government of stagnating in its response to the pandemic.

“This week civilian flights resumed in the world even in countries whose illness levels are high,” he stated. “We can operate safe civilian aviation even under the shadow of coronavirus.”

Zakay said that rehabilitating Israel’s aviation industry is not a matter of ensuring Israelis can go on vacation but a matter of preventing “fatal harm to an industry comprised of tens of thousands of people and hundreds of professions.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


1 COMMENT

  1. Zakay warned that the damage to Israel’s aviation industry will lead to “massive strategic harm” and accused the government of stagnating in its response to the pandemic. Just for this unbelievable tragedy alone, the demise of El Al haShem yeRachem, Netanyahu deserves to be removed from office, even with all his other numerous great accomplishments.