Five Arkia pilots called in sick Sunday in what the airline alleged was an illegal strike during one of the busiest days of the year for domestic flights.
“Due to surprising and illegal sanctions by turbo prop pilots, delays are expected today on domestic flights to and from Eilat,” Arkia said in a statement.
Airline officials said that the domestic flight pilots likely instituted the wildcat strike because they want a collective bargaining agreement with the company, similar to that of pilots of Arkia’s international fleet, according to Israeli business daily Globes.
However, the head of Arkia’s labor union insisted that there was no strike, according to Israeli news source Walla.
“There is no strike and no sanctions,” Aliza Balaish said. “This is a time where the seasons are changing and pilots are sick. It happens.”