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Aviation workers shut down flights at Ben Gurion, protesting virus restrictions

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Flights out of Ben Gurion Airport were halted for two hours Thursday as hundreds of aviation workers accused the government of applying COVID-19 travel restrictions without properly addressing the impact on their industry and livelihoods.

All departing flights were halted from 10 a.m. until midday during the protest while demonstrators gathered on the runway.

Planes were not blocked from landing at the country’s main international terminus, but they were not unloaded and passengers were forced to wait to collect their luggage.

The protest impacted 11 flights that were due to take off during those hours and ten that arrived.

Aviation workers are protesting against government rules that have cut down the number of passengers, slashing plane bookings amid a crisis resulting from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic early last year.

Thousands have been fired from the industry and thousands more who were put on unpaid leave have yet to return to their job, according to the Israel Transport Workers Union, which is part of the Histadrut labor federation.

The protest was prompted by recent health regulations mandating that arrivals from most countries quarantine for a week, which prompted a wave of cancellations.

“We want the government to know how to support the workers in [the aviation industry] when it decides to........

© The Times of Israel

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