EL AL Cargo Flights Banned Over $17+ Million In Unpaid Airport Fees

Filed Under: El Al

EL AL’s troubles have just become a whole lot worse, as the airline has now been banned from operating cargo flights.

EL AL owes $17.3 million in airport fees

EL AL hasn’t operated a scheduled passenger flight in several weeks, and as of now these flights are banned until June 20, 2020. As is the case with so many airlines, EL AL has started operating many cargo-only flights. While not as lucrative as their normal passenger operations, they at least help the airline cover some bills during these tough times.

However, EL AL has hit a major roadblock as of today, as reported by The Jerusalem Post. The Israel Airports Authority (IAA) has suspended the operation of all EL AL cargo flights due to the company’s debts to the airport. EL AL’s debts to the IAA amount to roughly 17.3 million USD… that’s a lot of fees!

EL AL has called an emergency executive meeting for this evening, also attended by Israel’s Transportation Minister. The topic will be trying to finalize aid for the airline.

EL AL is still seeking government aid

EL AL is currently seeking government guarantees on a $400 million bank loan, as the airline has no other way to make ends meet. However, this has caused quite some conflict with labor groups, as finalizing this is contingent upon getting labor concessions.

EL AL plans to lay off about 2,000 of the 6,500 employees working for the airline, and that’s something most employee groups aren’t in favor of. Furthermore, since the pilots would be making among the biggest concessions, they’re asking for a 25% stake in the airline.

Bottom line

For the past several weeks EL AL has exclusively been operating cargo and repatriation flights, and now the IAA has banned all cargo flights. EL AL not being able to operate cargo flights will put the airline in an even worse financial situation, so something has to give sooner rather than later (and I suspect it will, given the importance of cargo flowing into and out of the country).

(Tip of the hat to @charlie_laifer)

Comments
  1. The pilots are on crack if they think it’s financially worth while for EL AL to give away 25% of the company away… it would probably be better for them to go under.

  2. Tel Aviv has a beautiful airport, it is word class and is very secure.

    Delta is resuming their flights shortly and United has served Tel Aviv continuously through the pandemic.

    Demand for service from NYC to Israel remains high

  3. @Sam

    You are suggesting Israeli media is a propaganda machine. How come I’m not surprised.

  4. EL AL has been operating a few passenger flights recently. LY229 is a twice weekly TLV-CDG-LHR-TLV flight, most recently flew on May 31st.

  5. Corrected- Lucky, Eskimo’s comment is crudely racist and blatantly antisemetic. It would behoove you to delete his comment and remove him from your subscriber’s list. I’m surprised you haven’t done so on your own. Thanks

  6. @Sharon Tel Aviv has many many beautiful things (and food). A beautiful airport is not one of them.

  7. Eskimo – most of the mainstream media in the world today has a lot of fake news – Israel being no exception . As terrible as this is , it is certainly not the same as being a propaganda machine . In fact , you yourself have used a standard fake news method – taking something that was said , and saying that it said something which is completely different , in order to advance some other agenda .

  8. No comment regarding the flight ban, politics as usual.
    I will state that the news media in Israel is often faster than that in the US to dig up significant information, with no tilt.
    I have found the airport in Tel Aviv to be world class with bright, airy corridors and a simple pathway to know whee you are going.
    Then again, the old terminal had its charms.
    While travelling to a wedding some family members forgot important bags in the overhead. permission to return onboard was flatly denied for security. They were told they had to file a report with “lost and found”. That never happened, the items were immediately returned there, having already been x-rayed.

  9. The title was a bit of a “garden path” for me… I took a moment to wonder how a flight could ban airport fees.

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