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Aug 30, 2020

Is El Al operating or not?

I don't get this whole ElAl thing. We know ElAl is suffering, just as almost all airlines around the world are. ElAl shut down because of it. That is all understandable. ElAl keeps extending their shutdown, even though by now plenty of airlines are flying, even if on abbreviated schedules and routes. Still understandable. ElAl is way behind, in bad debt, and the little money they could make now probably would not cover the costs, let alone the debt.

Ok. Fair enough. 

It has made sense. Until now.

Suddenly we have a peace deal with the United Arab Emirates, with the potential for a new route of flights for travel between Israel and the UAE. Israel is sending a delegation to the UAE this week, and ELAL somehow won the right to operate this flight

Let's not forget, despite appearances, ELAL is not the national carrier. ELAL is a privately owned airline. They have been there for Israel in tough situations, even recently, such as during Corona they flew some emergency rescue flights from countries around the world.

But either they are in business or they are not in business. If they are in business, they should be operating flights around the world for Israelis, and anyone else, to be able to travel. They should also be working to pay off their debts and re-employ their employees who are mostly still on furlough. If they are not in business, let a different airline fly to the Emirates.

I get that maybe there is something symbolic about ELAL flying over Saudi Arabia and into the UAE, but either run the airline or don't. 

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  1. was wondering the exact same thing.

  2. Even though Air Canada is privately owned, it is still considered Canada's National airline. There are legal considerations in play with a 'National Airline' that go beyond a private or public ownership structure. For example Air Canada is only allowed to have a maximum percentage of foreign ownership.

    I believe the assumption is that El Al will work things out and fly once again. It will continue to be Israel's National carrier. Operating a one off fly, is probably easier to coordinate and more profitable than trying to get regular operations off the ground.


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