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El Al’s Price Hike Sparks Backlash, Calls For End To Subsidies From Israeli Government

An uproar ensued online Monday when journalist Dov Eichler of Kan Moreshet criticized El Al Airlines for fare increases following a spate of flight cancellations by other carriers due to the current security situation.

“I have no complaints against El Al, who are now charging an arm and a leg for every flight following the wave of cancellations,” he said. “My complaint is against Israel that does not immediately stop all subsidies to El Al and is even compensating it for all extras that the airline has received for years from the Israeli taxpayer’s money.”

The debate intensified with comments from another journalist, Kobi Bornstein. “But you must applaud El Al because they brought reserve soldiers from around the world at the beginning of the war. And now we are all paying for it. Do you want to go abroad while most airlines have canceled their flights? Isn’t it great that we have a national airline, that will not take advantage of the situation at all and will take you anywhere for a measly price of only a trillion dollars per ticket?” he remarked sarcastically.

Adding personal accounts to the discussion, journalists Merav Sever and Simcha Tauman shared their experiences with El Al’s pricing. Sever noted she paid $1,000 for a flight to Paris, while Tauman humorously likened the cost to buying tickets for 30 flights at once: “It’s not an arm and a leg, it’s ‘only’ one thousand dollars. It’s as if they’re telling us, or we fly with El Al for the rest of our lives, or for one flight out of 30 that we are traveling with them, we will pay for all 30 together.”

In response to the outcry, El Al stated that it is actively working to stabilize its flight operations and has adjusted its schedule to better accommodate passengers amid the return to routine at Ben Gurion International Airport.

“With the return of the Ben Gurion International Airport to routine operations, El Al is operating its flight schedule after making certain adjustments. We are working to stabilize the flight schedule as soon as possible and recommend that all passengers verify their updated departure time before leaving for the airport,” El Al said in a statement.

El Al also highlighted its efforts to provide reasonable pricing options for those affected by cancellations, citing specific fares: from Athens at $217, Paris at $361, and from New York at $795, among others. These prices are part of a special offer valid until April 20.

Moreover, the airline announced a flexible change and cancellation policy for its customers, allowing them to alter or cancel their flights without additional fees under certain conditions until the specified date.

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

3 Responses

  1. The government subsidies to El Al hardly cover the costs it incurs on behalf of the national security and strategic tasks it undertakes for the government. Those costs, along with the restrictions on flying on shabbos/yom tovim is why it has historically been difficult for it to operate profitably under private ownership. Unless the government wants to go back to public ownership, it needs to allow the airline to price its flights based on market conditions, just as any other airline does (i.e. raise prices when demand is high and available seats are limited). Cheap flights are not an entitlement and if the prices are “too high”, stay home.

  2. Sounds like the old story. A woman walks into the bakers and ask for a dozen bagels. The proprietor tells her, here you go and that’s $9. The woman screams, you thief, across the street a dozen bagels are $4!! The baker says, well why don’t you buy them there? She answers, because he doesn’t have any. The baker tells her, “lady, when I don’t have bagels, I charge $3 a dozen”.

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