update deskIsrael News

El Al reports highest profits in company’s history

Israel’s national carrier has become a near-monopoly amid the country's nearly eight-month-old war against Hamas in Gaza.

An El Al airliner takes off from Ben-Gurion Airport. Oct. 25, 2021. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90.
An El Al airliner takes off from Ben-Gurion Airport. Oct. 25, 2021. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90.

El Al Airlines announced on Wednesday a record profit of more than $80 million in the first quarter of the year.

The unprecedented number for Israel’s national carrier comes at a time when many international airlines have suspended service to Tel Aviv in the wake of the nearly eight-month-old war against Hamas in Gaza and amid complaints of price gouging that has sent airfares soaring.

By comparison, the company posted a net loss of nearly $35 million in the corresponding quarter last year.

El Al accounted for 62% of the passenger traffic at Ben-Gurion International Airport in the first quarter of 2024, according to the Israel Airports Authority, compared with 22% in the first quarter of 2023.

Over the Passover holiday, traditionally a high tourism season, El AL was only the carrier to offer trans-Atlantic flights to the United States, after United Airlines suspended service anew in the wake of the missile and drone attack by Iran on April 13-14.

Both the Chicago-based United and the Atlanta-based Delta are slated to resume nonstop service to Tel Aviv next month. American Airlines is only expected to renew flights to Israel in the fall.

The Israeli airline forecasts that the second quarter of 2024 will be even stronger.

“In light of the instability in aviation in Israel and the increasing pressures on our flights, we continue to work intensively to increase the supply of seats and strengthen flight schedules, while providing individual responses to specific cases,” said company CEO Dina Ben-Tal Ganancia. “We are doing everything in our power to provide an adequate response to the high demands and unusual loads on the company’s service system, at a time when some of our staff are still serving in reserve duty and the company is operating on a war routine.”

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