El Al will stop flying to Cairo as Egypt ties deteriorate

Click photo to download. Caption: An El Al plane. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.(JNS.org) Israel’s largest airliner, El Al, will cancel its Tel Aviv-Cairo route due to high security and operating costs, Ma'ariv reported Sunday.

According to Israel Hayom, El Al CEO Eliezer Shkedi recently wrote to Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman informing him that the company, which is privately owned but is considered Israel’s national carrier, considers the route unprofitable, in part because of the high security guidelines that must be followed when flying in and out of an Arab capital. By law, El Al must abide by the Israel Security Agency’s directives even on foreign soil, forcing it to manage its own airport screening apparatus and baggage handling system.

A Foreign Ministry official told Israel Radio that El Al's removal Cairo from its list of destinations might imperil the already fragile peace accord between Israel and the most populous Arab state, which has governed bilateral relations since 1979.

“Any time you roll back something, you deal an irreversible blow to the normalized relations between the two countries,” one diplomat told the online news portal NRG on Sunday.

Posted on September 16, 2012 .