El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL, Hebrew: אל על נתיבי אויר לישראל בע״מ), trading as El Al (Hebrew: אל על, “To the Skies” or “Skywards”, stylized as ELעלALאל; Arabic: إل-عال), is the flag carrier of Israel. Since its inaugural flight from Geneva to Tel Aviv in September 1948, the airline has grown to serve over 50 destinations, operating scheduled domestic and international services and cargo flights within Israel, and to Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, Africa, Australia and the Far East, from its main base in Ben Gurion Airport.
El Al is the only commercial airline to equip its planes with missile defense systems to protect its planes against surface-to-air missiles, and is considered one of the world’s most secure airlines, thanks to its stringent security procedures, both on the ground and on board its aircraft. Although it has been the target of many attempted hijackings and terror attacks, only one El Al flight has ever been hijacked; that incident did not result in any fatalities.
As Israel’s national airline, El Al has played an important role in humanitarian rescue efforts, airlifting Jews from other countries to Israel, setting the world record for the most passengers on a commercial aircraft (single plane record of 1,088 passengers on a 747) by Operation Solomon when 14,500 Jewish refugees were transported from Ethiopia in 1991.
El Al offers only kosher in-flight meals, and does not fly passengers on the Jewish Shabbat or religious holidays.
In 2012, El Al operated an all-Boeing fleet of 42 aircraft, flying over 4 million passengers, and employed a staff of 6,056 globally. The company’s revenues for 2016 were $2,040 million, with losses of $81 million, compared to a profit of $57 million in 2010. In 2018, the company’s revenue was $7.7 billion with a net loss of $187.55 million. In July 2020, having lost hundreds of millions of dollars due to grounded flights and layoffs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in Israel and abroad, the company reached a bailout deal with the government, and a private buyer purchased a controlling stake (42.85%) in September of that year, with the government purchasing any unwanted shares (15%).
EL AL Israel Airlines Limited
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Ben-Gurion International Airport
P.O. Box 41 – 70100
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