El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) unit Sun D’Or International Airlines is to halt Shabbat (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) flights. While El Al as Israel’s flag carrier has never flow on Shabbat, Sun D’Or has regularly flown charter flights on Shabbat. But now wholesale tourist agencies, which have been trying to arrange tourist packages that include Friday night/Saturday flights, have been told that a change of policy has already come into effect.
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Sun D’Or, although fully owned by El Al, has always operated as an independent unit marketing charter flights on seasonal and ad hoc rather than scheduled routes. For example in the summer of 2020, Sun D’Or had been planning to operate flights from Tel Aviv to Saltzburg, Odessa, Naples and Thessaloniki, although the flights never took place because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In September control of El Al was acquired by Eli Rozenberg, an Orthodox new immigrant from the US. Israel’s other two airlines Israir Airlines and Tourism Ltd. and Arkia Airlines Ltd. both fly on Shabbat. But Arkia could become the only Israeli airline to fly on the Sabbath after Israir is set to be acquired by BGI Investments (1961) Ltd. (TASE: BGI) controlled by Shalom Haim and Rami Levy, who does not operate his businesses on Shabbat.
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on January 17, 2021
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