El Al Could Lease Sun D’Or Shabbos Flights


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The following is from Globes:

In a last-ditch effort to prevent the grounding of its charter subsidiary Sun D’Or International Airlines Ltd. on Saturdays, El Al Israel Airlines may lease Sun D’Or planes to and crews to other airlines, most likely Arkia Airlines or Israir Airlines. The idea, which has not yet been approved, could come into effect this weekend.

This solution would not involve returning Sun D’Or’s operating license.

Earlier this month, the Israel Civil Aviation Authority revoked Sun D’Or’s operating license, which will come into effect tomorrow, April 1. A year ago, the Civil Aviation Authority notified Sun D’Or that it was not in compliance with aviation regulations because it was entirely dependent on El Al’s infrastructure.

Sun D’Or operates three Boeing 757 and El Al air crews. It operates as a designated carrier to European destinations, and carries out flights for El Al on the Saturdays and holidays. This enabled El Al to keep its 30-year plus status-quo with religious and Charedi passengers by not flying on the Sabbath.

Aviation industry sources have mixed feelings about the proposed solution. The Civil Aviation Authority said, “So long as they operate according to professional criteria, there is nothing to prevent the leasing.”

However, a source close to the issue told “Globes”, “This won’t last, and it isn’t a solution that will save them – buy a ticket on Sun D’Or, fly an El Al plane, and be listed as a passenger of a third airline.”

El Al has not made any announcement on the matter. Arkia and Israir were unavailable for comment.

(Source: Globes)


  1. “A year ago, the Civil Aviation Authority notified Sun D’Or that it was not in compliance with aviation regulations” This is just like the Materna story where in February 2010, just over a year ago, the FDA cited Materna for technical violations which they did not bother to deal with. Now both Materna and El Al raise their eyes to the heavens. If both companies had complied with the regulations Joe Doe Israeli could fly with his kids to New York on Sun D’Or and buy Materna for them to eat while there. Why are Israelis so arrogant and think that they can just do whatever they want with no consequences?