Are El Al’s Wet Leasing Practices Going To Cause A Strike?

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For the past couple of years El Al has been wet-leasing planes from other airlines to cover their routes. This has led to people assuming they will fly on an El Al operated airplane and crew to be flown by Spanish airline “Privilege Style” and Portuguese airlines “Hi Fly” and “Euro Atlantic Airways.”

Dozens of readers have sent me horror stories about these airlines and I’ve made several posts about the situation. The bottom line is that if you want to fly nonstop to Tel Aviv and know what airline you’re actually flying on, you should book travel on Delta or United.

At any rate, El Al has cancelled tonight’s Tel Aviv-Newark and tomorrow’s Newark-Tel Aviv flight. They will offer refunds, but they write that they will not offer alternate flight options.

Globes is reporting that a full strike is likely within the next week in protest of El Al’s wet-leasing. El Al is blaming their pilots for tactics that have forced them to outsource their flying to the Iberian carriers. The pilots blame El Al for charging passengers a premium while shifting them onto low cost carriers that cost El Al far less than flying their own aircraft and employees.

Yup. It’s just another day at El Al.

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22 Comments On "Are El Al’s Wet Leasing Practices Going To Cause A Strike?"

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So what if ur supposed to be flying out of Tel Aviv to JFK on Thursday morning do u think
The flight will be affected?


they put me on the 645pm flight. (was changed to the hi fly airline)


I have a flight this motzei Shabbos.

1) anything I should be concerned about? And if yes, anything I can do?

2) is there a way to check before what metal I will be flying?


A in this past weeks mishpacha. Ella makes seals excuses.


The bright side of this fiasco is that you can complain (afterwards), and maybe get some compensation. I got 2 $200 vouchers out of it. 🙂


I’m flying with Elal out of Boston next week. Any need to be concerned?


@SrulyP: same here.. St this point there is nothing I can do.


Is it crazy that I’m generally happy to pay more flying on other airlines than elal? I don’t think I ever had an enjoyable experience flying with them.

Osborne Greene

what are the horror stories?


they have also been flying to prauge and budapest on czech travel service airline for the past few months.

Jack out of the box
Jack out of the box


Derech agav- a friend of mine flew recently on Privilege and was quite satisfied. Last week he flew with United and afterwards pledged never again due to ridiculous delays in both directions.


@yanky they were able to put you on a different flight?
for those whose flights were cancelled. Did they cancel both legs or just one way


I flew last night TLV to YYZ on what I thought was direct.
When I went to check in, they told me: “And sir, today you will be flying to Toronto with a stopover in Paris, correct?” I corrected them and said it was a direct flight. Another lady at the counter came over and said that half an hour earlier they had added a stop to refuel in Paris.
Our flight ended up not only leaving an hour late, but after a supposed hour stop in Paris, we were well over 3 hours, if not closer to 4 hours late for landing.
The flight was operated by Hi-Fly, and the service was dreadful. When I walked to the back to ask for a drink, all they could offer me was coffee, tea, and water. They had zero snacks in the galley for passers-by, so you better have been awake when they passed by with the carts the one time at the beginning of the flight.


@Jack out of the box:

Thank you, very helpful!


After some research and asking someone familiar with the subject in Israel, they would have to first give 2 weeks notice to make an official strike. Until then, the pilots and crew would have to call in sick or something in order for a flight to be cancelled. Which is happening and could happen, but doesn’t create a whole strike.

Here’s an excerpt from Dan’s Globes reference article: The Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel) *intends to declare a labor dispute in the coming week*, in protest against the airline’s aircraft leasing policy, Channel 2 News reports. *Two weeks after the declaration, El Al’s union will be able to call a complete strike.*

Hopes this helps ppl flying Elal this week, like me.


@me2: As someone who regularly flies back and forth between Israel and the US, I can tell you that if El Al goes on strike, so will the entire Histadrut, and no one will be able to fly in and out. Usually happens on Wednesday and Thursday, and then they let people get home for Shabbos on Friday.

Ah, the socialist paradise. They don’t even need a strike vote.



@IsraelMatzav no argument there. Was saying for ppl flying this week, Hisdadrut needs to give 2 weeks notice to do that, so they should be fine. (Unless there pilots play hooky)

JFK cancellation


they first tonights JFK flight to 8:30 than later, now it’s 1 AM on Hifly


Todays Newark to Tel Aviv flight was postponed from the afternoon to 7:45pm . Other flights were cancelled.
Any one have any idea when this will end? My flight leaves next week …

Zvi Weiss

If you are concerned about the “wet lease”, then even if [normally] you rely upon the Kashrut of El Al for their “regular meals” (e.g., out of NY -> TLV or vice-versa), you should likely order a “strictly kosher” meal if there is the possibility of a “wet lease”. The reason is that for El Al,itself, the Rabbanut is in a pretty strong position to ensure that (1) the kitchens on the planes are properly “kashered” and (2) the Crews are properly trained and (3) the food is properly “separated” to ensure that there are no mix-up between dairy / meat.
However, on the airline that is used for the “wet lease”, it is far more difficult to ensure those three conditions are met (REGARDLESS of what El Al may assert). A “Strictly Kosher” meal will be a “sealed meal” identical to what you will get in ANY [non-Jewish / non-kosher] airline which would greatly minimize the potential Kashrut issues.