Passengers stranded at Ben Gurion airport after El Al pilots deliberately miss scheduled flights

Pilots express unhappiness in working conditions, don't show up to work; so far, four El Al flights have been cancelled leaving passengers to wait.

El Al airplanes sit on the runway 370 (R) (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
El Al airplanes sit on the runway 370 (R)
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
Passengers on four El Al flights scheduled to depart from Ben-Gurion Airport on Thursday night were left in limbo when airline staff members failed to arrive.
The flights in question were to London Luton Airport, Munich, Budapest and Bucharest, according to an El Al spokeswoman. The cancellations supposedly occurred due to frustrations expressed by the company’s pilots, who have complained about worsened work conditions since the launch of El Al’s budget airline UP.
El Al confirmed that “due to the unavailability of air staff, disruptions began today in the El Al schedule.”
“Lately, El Al has had to deal with disruptions in schedules and positioning of planes, due to the unavailability of pilots and their lack of responsiveness toward inquiries from the company about implementing the flights,” the El Al spokeswoman said.
El Al CEO David Maimon and the company’s management are working to find ways to realize the company’s commercial program in a way that operates competitively and minimizes damage to the customers, the spokeswoman said. Thus far, the company has been able to minimize damages by placing customers on alternative flights, she added.
“El Al apologizes to affected customers and is working to bring passengers to their destinations as soon as possible,” the spokeswoman said.