| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

Israel’s El Al to restore pilots’ salaries to pre-COVID levels

El Al Israel Airlines, the country’s flag carrier, and its pilots came to a collective agreement to return their pay to what it was before the COVID outbreak and put an end to months of strike action that resulted in canceled flights.

Salary levels would return to prior levels under the agreement by the start of 2023, according to a joint statement from El Al and the Histadrut labor group. The agreement is effective through 2025.

Last month, a labour court declined El Al’s demand to force pilots back to work after near daily cancellations, ordering both sides to negotiate a deal. Pilots were seeking El Al to abide by a 2017 salary deal.

“Israeli airline pilots, including El Al pilots, significantly reduced their salaries so the airlines could survive. Today, with the aviation industry recovering, it is time to return to the previous situation,” said Avi Edri, head of the Histadrut’s transportation workers’ union.

El Al in May said it had narrowed its first-quarter loss to $66 million from $86 million a year earlier, after Israel’s borders were reopened to foreign tourists and passenger numbers returning to pre-COVID levels.

  • Reuters