Wire

El Al raises $500,000 for war-relief efforts

Aid also includes respite trips for displaced families from Israel's south.

A row of El Al airplanes. Credit: Courtesy.
A row of El Al airplanes. Credit: Courtesy.

Terrorism, missile attacks, hostages, war … in such a complex time, how does one company offer hope to an embattled nation? El Al’s answer was an international project for growth and support.

In December 2023, the company launched a campaign to encourage the Israeli economy while raising money for those who needed it most. The company called on Diaspora Jews and other supporters of Israel to purchase flight vouchers for future travel with 10% of the proceeds to be given to support Israeli soldiers and urgent relief for victims of the Oct. 7 attacks. The campaign initially launched in the United States, but after gaining strong support it expanded to Britain and France.

El Al Airplanes
A row of El Al airplanes. Credit: Courtesy.

As a result of the campaign, El Al has been able to donate $500,000 to assist the victims of the Oct. 7 attacks and help wounded soldiers and their families. The funds represent 10% of the $5 million in total sales of the program.

El Al has contributed the funds to Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF), an organization founded in the United States in 1981 that provides for the welfare of IDF soldiers, veterans and their families, and to the Shoresh Fund (formerly known as Kumzitz), which provided immediate assistance to civilians affected by the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks, including support for residents of northern and southern Israel who have been evacuated from their homes.

The flight vouchers are valid for flights booked through the end of 2025 for trips until Nov. 30, 2026. Customers who made a minimum purchase received elevated status benefits in the Matmid Frequent Flyer Club as well as special postcards, which were printed in Kibbutz Be’eri, which was one of the communities near the Gaza border attacked on Oct. 7.

“We are witness to the generosity and moving solidarity coming from the international communities in general and the Jewish communities in particular, who continue to send equipment and supplies to Israel on El Al planes,” says El Al CEO Dina Ben-Tal Ganencia.

“We express our gratitude and call on the community to continue to support the Israeli economy and to ‘Fly The Flag’ as you plan future visits to Israel,” she adds.

The voucher project is only a small part of a wide range of activities that El Al has been carrying out since Oct. 7. Others include:

• Flying the hostage families: El Al has had the privilege of accompanying the families of the hostages on their international trips to raise awareness and promote the release of the abductees.

• El Al named its newest aircraft “Otef Israel” after the southern Israel region adjacent to Gaza to celebrate the brave community.

• The Teddy Bears Project: El Al flight attendant Hadar Harik wanted to raise a message of hope for the return of the hostages and came up with the idea of a teddy bear for every hostage. “As far as we’re concerned, everyone there is alive, and the thought of the teddy bear waiting for them at home gives them vitality and hope.”

• El Al has flown children and families from the Otef communities near Gaza on respite trips abroad. Among the flights was a trip for 350 people to watch Israel’s national soccer play in Budapest.

• “Seats Reserved for Hostages” flight: On Jan. 10, pictures of the abductees were attached to the seats of an El Al flight from New York, a move that received great worldwide exposure. In addition, the airline chose to operate El Al’s flagship flight to New York, Flight #LY001, as LY100 to mark the 100 days that had passed since Oct. 7, and to commemorate the 100 days the hostages have spent in captivity.

In the meantime, the company is looking forward to quiet days, when all the abductees will return to their homes and tourists will be able to redeem their vouchers.

For more information, visit: elal.com.

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EL AL was founded in November 1948 as Israel’s national airline and operated its first scheduled flight in 1949. In June 1950, EL AL began service between Tel Aviv and New York. Today EL AL serves 49 international destinations in 33 countries. EL AL continues to grow in step with the country. Although the airline was privatized economically several years ago, its national spirit and commitment to Israel have never wavered. EL AL continues its many national activities striving for excellence through the service it offers its passengers. EL AL will continue to grow and flourish with the State and to be the first choice of travelers to and from Israel.
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