Following the Finance Ministry’s announcement earlier this week about its new bailout plan for El Al, the possibility of the Israeli government acquiring the majority of the company’s shares was splashed across media headlines in Israel.
However, according to a senior Finance Ministry official, the re-nationalization of El Al is “not on the agenda.”
“I don’t think that anyone thinks that the state of Israel should be the owner of an airline,” Eli Morgenstern, a representative of the ministry’s Budget Department, said at a meeting of the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
“Therefore the idea of nationalizing El Al is not on the agenda. El Al shares will be transferred to a trustee for three to five years who will subsequently sell them. Following the cash flow injection, it will be easier for El Al to receive a loan for the additional $250 million.”
El Al has been privately owned for 16 years.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)