TEL AVIV (Jun. 18)
The Israeli Pilots Association reported today it will join in the general strike tomorrow of pilots associations throughout the world in a one-day protest against hijackings and terrorist attacks on passenger planes. The Israeli group has approached civil aviation workers, mainly technicians and refueling crews, for support and the aviation workers agreed, the pilots association said.
A pilots spokesman said that this means that even if an overseas plane arrives in Lydda Airport because pilots of a particular country oppose or were forced to oppose the protest strike, the plane could land but not take off during the strike which is expected to paralyze El Al Airlines and the domestic Arkia lines for 24 hours. Pilots of private aviation firms have also been asked to join in the walkout. It was indicated that a skeleton crew would man Lydda Airport for emergency and security flights. Many people, concerned over the forthcoming strike and who had been scheduled to depart tomorrow were trying to get seats on planes leaving today.
BELGIAN, DUTCH PILOTS SUPPORT ACTION
(Reports from various European capitals indicated widespread pilot support for the 24-hour walkout, scheduled to begin 2 a.m. Monday, US Eastern daylight time. The pilots of the two Belgian air lines, Sabena and Sobelair, approved participation. The Belgian Pilots Association said it fully supported the call of the International Federation of Airline Pilots Association for the one-day strike.
(The Dutch Pilots Association in Amsterdam announced it would join the strike. Ground crews were ordered by their union to make it “impossible” for any overseas plane to land or leave Dutch airports. Three major Dutch airlines, as well as five smaller ones, announced cancellation of flights to and from Schipol Airport tomorrow. Officials said KLM, Martinair and Transavia have postponed many flights and moved several Monday flights back to today. Most charter flights starting from Schipol Airport, scheduled originally for Monday, were moved back 24 hours, officials reported.)
(The situation in the United States on the eve of the strike was unclear. Preparations for the strike moved ahead in US airports today after 28 scheduled US airlines failed to win an immediate court order against American pilots taking part. An official of the US Airline Pilots Association said it would be “next to impossible” to call off the strike. Some airlines obtained injunctions against their pilots joining the strike but most apparently faced total shutdowns tomorrow.)