El Al: Cost of Flights Cancelled Due to Pilot Protesters Is Minimal

Airline forced to cancel flights and lease aircraft and crews from abroad as pilots protest ban of so-called split flights.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
An El Al Boeing flies over the clouds.
An El Al Boeing flies over the clouds.Credit: Boeing

El Al Airlines’ direct losses from canceled and delayed flights caused by a dispute with pilots over the last week have amounted to no more than 5% of the revenues it expects to earn in the current quarter, sources said on Monday.

With the carrier’s fourth-quarter revenues at $476 million that would amount to about $24 million to date. The estimate came after El Al said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange earlier in the day that the labor strife would not have a significant impact on the company, but did not specifiy figures.

“The disruptions have been reflected — beyond damage to the company’s reputation — in higher operating expenses ... and lower income from airfares, though the monetary amounts are not significant to the company as of now,” El Al said. Its shares closed up 2.4% to 3.44 shekels (89 cents).

The reassurances came as labor strife at Israel’s flagship carrier escalated this week, with unions meeting late on Monday to decide whether to declare a labor dispute, which would allow them to strike in two weeks.

The pilots’ slowdown is to protest a management crackdown on so-called split flights in which pilots fly only one way on a roundtrip flight and get paid to fly as passengers in business class on the return. In the past two weeks, management has cracked down on the costly practice, causing pilots to impose a labor slowdown and forcing El Al to cancel nine flights and lease aircraft and crews from abroad to fill the holes in its schedule.

The dispute with the pilots has aroused anxieties among the rest of El Al’s workforce amid concerns the carrier plans layoffs.

But in an interview with TheMarker on Monday, CEO David Maimon dismissed those concerns, saying El Al was in the process of hiring 40 new employees and expects to hire 60 more shortly. He accused the pilots’ workers committee of spreading groundless fears.

“I could solve the conflict in five minutes if the pilots would stop with split flights,” he said, adding that he would stop leasing jets from other airlines if they agreed to abandon the practice.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott