Israeli flag-carrier El Al is facing a lawsuit over allegations that it failed to reimburse customers for cancelled flights, and did not inform the public about their right to receive a refund.
The class-action suit has been brought before a district court by all passengers who were due to fly from 1 February but whose flights were cancelled, and who allegedly did not receive a refund – or information about refunds – within the required time period.
It argues that El Al has violated aviation legislation and a number of other laws.
The plaintiffs are seeking collective reimbursement of $400 million, says the airline, as part of “various remedies” against the company.
El Al says it will “study the application” before submitting a response.
But it points out that new temporary legislation going through the Israeli Knesset is intended to amend the country’s aviation law in response to the coronavirus crisis.
It will extend the period for airlines to compensate passengers to 90 days from the flight date, or 30 days from the directive’s approval following a third reading in the Knesset.
This temporary law would apply retroactively to flights cancelled from 1 March, says El Al, although it says there is “no certainty” that the legislation will be implemented.
El Al is under financial pressure as a result of the crisis and is engaged in a series of negotiations with the government and employees in order to seal a $400 million funding package, which is likely to comprise a loan and issue of new shares.