El Al signs long-term agreement with pilots

El Al, photo: Sivan Farag

The agreement was signed hours after new regulations governing pilots working hours came into force.

Is this the agreement that will put an end to the delays and flight cancellations? Last night, El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) signed a new agreement with its pilots, hours after the European Aviation Safety Agency flight time limitations (FTL) regulations, which mainly govern monthly working hours and rest times for pilots, came into force.

The negotiations between the airline's management and its pilots were prolonged, lasting over a year, but this morning the company announced that it had signed a document with the employees' representatives and the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) giving effect to the agreements reached with the pilots. The agreement comes into force on November 1, and will be valid until October 31, 2024.

The agreement covering the approximately 600 pilots who work for El Al includes revisions to compensation, special compensation for work on Saturdays and holidays , and bonuses for meeting targets.

"I wish to notify you that after long months of negotiations, we have reached agreement with the pilots' representatives, and a few moments ago we signed a new labor agreement," El Al CEO Gonen Usishkin announced to the company's employees this morning.

"The Open Skies policy had led to wild competition at Ben Gurion Airport. We keep hearing of new airlines flying to Israel, and as though that were not enough, very high fuel costs and a constant flow of new regulations make it hard for us to compete, as in some cases our hands are tied and the competition is not equal or fair.

"This reality compels us all to change our enterprise culture and the way we run the company in order to ensure El Al's future. I believe that together we shall be able to deal with any threat, with any challenge, and to emerge from the competition victorious and triumphant," Usishkin said.

Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn said, "This is an important agreement that represents a historic milestone for El Al, and I should like to congratulate all those involved in the process."

The chairman of the El Al pilots committee, Ran Elkabetz, said, "Today, we signed a new labor agreement for the El Al pilots that is good news for the company, for the pilots, and for passengers. After a year of intensive negotiations through the mediator Amos Gabrieli, and with the aid of Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn and Transport Workers Union chairman Avi Edri, we succeeded in putting together an agreement that benefits all concerned.

"This is a balanced, long-term agreement that makes the work of the company's pilots considerably more efficient, ensures that the management has the operational flexibility it needs these days, and enables the company to abide by the new rest period regulations at the same time as it strengthens its financial position thanks to savings of tens of millions of shekels. I should like to thank the company's owners and management, headed by CEO Gonen Usishkin, who invested great effort in formulating the new agreement."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 29, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

El Al, photo: Sivan Farag
El Al, photo: Sivan Farag
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