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El Al's cadre of pilots is up in arms after the airline's chief operations officer accused them of embezzlement en masse.

The pilots were stealing, pure and simple, by racking up extra hours in order to receive more pay, charged Lior Yavor, senior vice president of operations and a pilot himself.

In a letter, he warned the pilots against dragging out landings with the goal of beefing up their salaries. (In any case the Boeing jets they fly have optimal recommended speeds for all situations, including landing.) Deliberately extending flight times is equivalent to theft from their employer, Yavor wrote.

In response, the pilots said they were hurt, and said Yavor's charge has led to an acute breakdown of confidence in him. Not that the relations between the veep and the pilots were good beforehand, the flyers pointed out. A manager who levels accusations like that should consider whether he's fit to manage, they said.

El Al said it doesn't discuss labor relations with the press.