MembersWhy Israel Cannot Let El Al Be Grounded

The airline is a strategic asset for the Jewish state, but now there’s talk of it either collapsing or falling into foreign hands

By David Lazarus | | Topics: El Al
El Al is a strategic asset for the Jewish state.
Photo: Moshe Shai/Flash90

The coronavirus pandemic has destroyed tourism in Israel, and as a result, El Al, which by Israeli law has had to refund all cancelled flights that are not rescheduled, ended the first quarter of 2020 with loses of over $140 million. With 95% of the airline’s workers now on unpaid furlough, and all pilots, as well as all passenger and cargo planes grounded, El Al found itself on the brink of collapse.

Just this week, the government stepped in with a plan to nationalize El Al and save the emblematic airline until another solution can be found. Known as the “safest airlines in the world,” El Al was born in 1948 along with the State of Israel, but then privatized in 2004.

“El Al is too important to the State of Israel to ever be sold to a foreign country like China, as some are suggesting,” Victor Gregorian, Head of Security at Eilat’s International Airport told Israel Today. “It must remain in the hands of the Jews,” he said. “Whenever there is a war, only El Al will bring thousands of our crucial reserve-duty...

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