Tough week for El Al Israel Airlines

El Al Israel Airlines has just had the week from hell after a series of mishaps resulted in delays, emergency landings and very disgruntled passengers.

Tough week for El Al Israel Airlines

El Al Israel Airlines has just had the week from hell after a series of mishaps resulted in delays, emergency landings and very disgruntled passengers.

The unfortunate events included oxygen masks unexpectedly deploying and delaying a flight, a cracked windshield requiring the pilots to return the plane to its origin, an aircraft door damaged by children playing and a pilot who collapsed on the controls in the cockpit resulting in an emergency diversion.

Here’s how the week panned out …

A plane operated by UP, a subsidiary of El Al, destined for Berlin was still on the ground when oxygen masks unexpectedly deployed.

Passengers had to be transferred to a different plane resulting in a three hour delay.

On an El Al flight from Tel Aviv to Brussels, a passenger reported having a cracked window.

The plane which was flying over Turkey at the time, returned to Tel Aviv and safely landed 90 minutes later.

A FlyerTalk member told a fellow passenger that a bird strike was the cause of the cracked windshield however there have been no official reports to confirm the claim.

Another flight was delayed after unruly children reportedly damaged the door of a plane after playing with it. The flight from New York to Tel Aviv was delayed for around four hours as crew worked to fix it.

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In a more frightening event, a pilot reportedly collapsed on the controls of the cockpit on a flight to Venice. The plane had to make an emergency diversion to Dubrovnik, Croatia.

After being given first aid aboard the plane, the first officer was taken to the hospital, and while the cause is still unknown at this time, it is thought that fatigue was a contributing factor in this incident.

This is on top of protests by pilots that happened earlier in the month disrupting El Al flight schedules.

Pilots stopped work over the deadlock in negotiations about a new agreement resulting in several flights from Tel Aviv to Paris being cancelled.

A FlyerTalk member explained the situation.

“The management and owners basically want more perks and salary concessions from the pilots in order to bolster the financial bottom line (pilots are the highest paid front line employees), while the pilots argue that if they have to make concessions in pay and benefits, management should as well.”

Israel National News reported the following statement by an El Al Airways spokesman in response to the strike.

“El Al management did everything it could to minimise the damage to customers by consolidating flights, increasing equipment, leasing aircraft and transferring some passengers to other airlines, as the company puts the interests of passengers in mind”.

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