Passengers wait in line at Ben Gurion Airport
Passengers wait in line at Ben Gurion AirportAvi Dishi/Flash90

Workers at Ben Gurion International Airport launched a surprise strike Thursday afternoon, causing major delays Israel’s largest airport.

No prior warnings were given ahead of the sanctions, catching both airport administrators and passengers off guard, and leading to major disruptions, particularly for departing flights.

Representatives of the workers’ union have instructed airport authorities to slow down the pace of departing flights, restricting the airport to just one takeoff every ten minutes. Airport officials now say that departing flights have been delayed by an average of an hour and a half. Authorities report that they have turned to a labor court to resolve the matter.

Employees at Ben Gurion planned to shut down the airport last November as part of a general strike in protest of plans by the Interior Ministry to levy property taxes on the Israel Airport Authority, though the strike was ultimately cancelled.