Tag Archives: El Al Israel Airlines

El Al launches new in-flight Wi-Fi system, powered by Viasat

El Al Israel Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner 4X-EDB (msn 42117) LHR (SPA). Image: 941028.

El Al Israel Airlines announced it officially launched its new fast, reliable commercial in-flight Wi-Fi service, powered by global communications company, Viasat.

El Al was Viasat’s European launch customer. Since first announcing their relationship, both companies undertook broad market studies focused on in-flight Wi-Fi passenger demand, engagement and service offerings, including a customer beta phase to determine internet package types. El Al also began to re-energize its fleet taking on new Boeing 787 Dreamliners—a recent addition to Viasat’s certified platforms.

As of today, 15 El Al aircraft have been outfitted with Viasat’s latest equipment, providing high-speed connectivity to El Al’s mix of Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Boeing 737-900 aircraft and Boeing 737-800 planes. By mid-2020, EL AL expects to have the majority of its fleet connected with the Viasat service.

First high-speed Wi-Fi flight
Earlier this week, El Al held its “inaugural high-speed Wi-Fi service flight,” which flew from Tel Aviv to Paris on one of its new Dreamliner aircraft. There were 128 devices connected—many that were streaming movies, videos, music and even the World Cup semifinal. More than half of the passengers were filming and streaming videos—some via Facebook Live, while others were capturing and uploading videos and pictures of their journey, which they posted to multiple social media sites from Facebook and Instagram to Twitter.

Service packages
El Al will offer three internet service packages:

  • Basic: Passengers can use their smartphones and tablets for instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp, to access email and browse El Al’s free sites. The package is free during the launch period.
  • Social: This package builds on the Basic plan, letting passengers use their smartphones and tablets to access instant messaging applications, email, free site browsing and for viewing short videos of up to three minutes. This package cost per passenger per flight is $9.99, with discounted rates for Matmid Frequent Flyers and FLYCARD holders.
  • Business: This premium plan lets passengers use their smartphones, tablets and laptops for instant messaging, email and free site browsing. Unlike the other plans, users of the Business package gain additional connectivity capabilities, including streaming movies, music and more as well as VPN access. Package cost per passenger per flight is $19.99, also with discounted rates for Matmid Frequent Flyers and FLYCARD holders.

During the introductory trial period for international flights from Europe to North America, El Al will offer the service free of charge until the fourth quarter of 2018.

About Viasat
Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 30 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people’s lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea.

Copyright Photo: El Al Israel Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner 4X-EDB (msn 42117) LHR (SPA). Image: 941028.

El Al aircraft slide show:

 

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Reuters: El Al Airlines drops plans to buy Israir

Named "Bat Yam"

From Reuters:

El Al Israel Airlines said on Wednesday it had scrapped its bid to acquire smaller low-cost rival Israir from IDB Tourism amid opposition from competition regulators.

A year ago, El Al – Israel’s flag carrier – reached a deal for its Sun d’Or unit to pay up to $24 million for Israir, which flies to the southern resort of Eilat and a host of European cities.

Sun d’Or flies to about 17 destinations in France, Italy, Switzerland, Greece and elsewhere in Europe.

Earlier this year, Israel’s Anti-Trust Authority said it opposed the merger since it would prevent El Al from operating flights to Eilat and lead to competitive concerns resulting from El Al’s control of security services at all Israeli airlines.

El Al, which argued that flights to Eilat were economically unjustified, appealed against the decision but decided to drop that appeal on Wednesday.

“In view of the passage of time from the signing of the purchase agreement and the expected time to complete the appeal process the parties were required to negotiate the commercial terms in which the agreement could be kept in place,” El Al said.

“Since the negotiations failed and no agreement was reached, the parties … withdrew the appeal.”

The withdrawal came hours before a preliminary hearing in front of an anti-trust tribunal.

“El Al and Israir will therefore be unable to consummate the merger,” the anti-trust authority said. (Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Mark Potter)

Top and Below Copyright Photos: The newest Dreamliner is named “Bat Yam”. El Al Israel Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner 4X-EDE (msn 63393) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 942476.

Named "Bat Yam"

El Al aircraft slide show:

El Al announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2018, will retire the Boeing 767s

To be replaced with Boeing 787s, will be replaced in late 2018

El Al Israel Airlines reported an 11% increase in revenues to USD $464 million in the first quarter of 2018; a 2.5% increase in the number of passengers; an increase in load factor to approx. 83.8%; and a 4.3% increase in yield.

Alongside this, the Company recorded an increase of 15% in operating expenses, attributable primarily to the growth in operations; an increase in fuel expenses totaling approx. USD 23 million, mainly due to the increase in fuel price; an increase of approx. USD 7 million in payroll expenses following the erosion of the US dollar against the New Israeli Shekel; and an increase in minimum wage.

Net loss for the quarter amounted to USD $44 million.

Due to the complex reality faced by the Israeli aviation industry, particularly vis-à-vis low cost carriers, and in view of the challenges awaiting the Company in the near future, including intensifying competition and increase in fuel prices, EL AL management has resolved to take a number of measures to adjust its activities to these challenges:

Deepening the implementation of a business efficiency plan across the Company, including reducing expenses and increasing revenues.

Changing the compensation model for agents in Israel and abroad – The company adapts the trend prevailing among most of the world’s leading airlines, by changing the compensation model between airlines and travel agents, and will move to a new model in which no base commission will be paid to agents, which currently stands at 5% in Israel and a variable percentage in countries where it operates, as of June 1st 2019.

As part of the Company’s decision to accelerate the optimization process of all wide-body aircraft and in order to enhance customer service and becoming more efficient with the renewal of the Dreamliner fleet, the Company is currently engaged in scheduling the early removal 767 fleet from service by the end of 2018 instead of 2020.

Due to the early removal from service of one aircraft of the 767 fleet that was damaged at Ben Gurion Airport, it was decided to postpone the launch of the San Francisco route to the second quarter of 2019.

In April 2018 the Company started selling flight tickets to destinations in Europe based on the new model, which allows Economy Class passengers to choose from three types of flight product packages at various prices, tailored to their needs. This model allows the Company to more efficiently compete with all players in the market, in particular low-cost airlines.

  • Operating revenues amounted in the first quarter of 2018 to approx. USD 464 million, compared to USD 418 million in the first quarter of 2017, reflecting an increase of approx. 11%.
  • The increase in revenues was primarily attributable to an improvement in a number of significant items:
    • The number of tier segments increased in the first quarter of 2017 by approx. 2.5% compare to last year; available seats per kilometer (ASK) increased by approx. 3.1%; the Company’s operations in RPK terms (revenue passengers per kilometer) grew by approx. 3.3%; the Company’s operations in terms of flight hours increased by approx. 2.7%
    • Aircraft load factor stood at approx. 83.8%, compared to 83.6% at the first quarter of 2017;
    • Average yield per RPK increased by approx. 4.3% compared to the first quarter of 2017.
  • El Al market share of traffic at Ben Gurion Airport amounted to approx. 27.9%. In the first quarter of 2018, the Company recorded an increase of 2.5% in the number of passengers flown by the Company, with passenger traffic at Ben Gurion Airport increasing by higher rate of 19%.
  • Loss before tax for the first quarter of 2018 amounted to approx. USD 57 million, compared to a loss before tax of approx. USD 39 million in the first quarter of 2017.
  • Net loss for the first quarter of 2018 was approx. USD 44 million, compared to a net loss of approx. USD 30 million in the first quarter of 2017.
  • The increase in loss is due primarily to the increase in jet fuel costs as a result of an increase of 25% in jet fuel price and an increase in payroll expenses following the erosion of the US dollar against the New Israeli Shekel.
  • Cash flow from operating activities in the first quarter of 2018 amounted to approx. USD 14 million compared to approx. USD 77 million in the first quarter of 2017. The difference in cash flows was due primarily to the increase in net loss and a payment of approx. USD 22 million to the tax authorities in respect of an audit of assessments, the expense for which was recorded in the previous year.
  • EBITDA amounted to USD -14 million (loss), compared to USD 30 million in the first quarter of 2017.
  • EBITDAR amounted to USD 14 million, Compared to USD 30 million in the first quarter of 2017.
  • The Company’s cash balance as of March 31, 2018 totaled approx. USD 243 million.
  • The Company’s equity as of March 31, 2018 totaled approx. USD 273 million.

EL AL’s CEO, Gonen Usishkin, announced today as follows:

“During the first quarter of 2018, EL AL recorded an 11% growth in its revenues compared to the first quarter of 2017. The Company increased its volume of operations, notwithstanding the numerous challenges arising from the Open Sky policy and the intensifying competition posed by foreign airlines, in particular low-cost carriers, and successfully improved its yield by about 4%.

“However, the Company reported an increase in expenses, attributable mainly to the rise in fuel price and changes in exchange rates, thus, at the bottom line, it completed the first quarter, a quarter that is typically characterized by seasonal weakness, with a net loss of approx. USD 44 million.

“In view of the changing reality and growing competition, as well as the increase in fuel prices, changes in exchange rates and regulatory restrictions, EL AL is currently in the midst of an accelerated optimization process, both in terms of its scope and the speed of its implementation. Within this framework, we announced a number of significant steps and more decisions are expected to be made in major areas which has an efficiency potential. The program is comprehensive and reviews all fields of activity and business areas, with the aim of increasing revenues and considerably reducing expenses in order to establish a coherent path for improving results, through a multi-year process.

“The Company is currently in the process of receiving the Dreamliner aircrafts. To date, we have received 4 airplanes and about to receive 3 more airplanes by the end of 2018 .The aircrafts acceptance program is properly implemented in compliance with prescribed schedules, and the Company continues to take all necessary steps required by the program. The demand for seats on the Dreamliner aircrafts is impressive and it certainly meets our expectations regarding the revenues from each service department as planned.”

Dganit Palti, El Al’s CFO, announced today as follows:

“Three of the five Dreamliner aircrafts that the Company is about to be equipped in 2018 will be owned by the Company. One of them was received in March and the other two will be delivered in June and August. The Company is currently working to expand the sources of financing for the aircraft, and is currently raising from a number of international financial entities long-term loans at attractive interest rates and at high financing rates.

“The Company also first contracted LOI with investors from Japan, which specialize in financing an equity tranche to aircrafts for airlines companies around the world, to finance the equity tranche to the aircraft expected in June, under comfortable conditions.

“The Company completed the first quarter of 2018 with cash and deposits balances of USD 243 million, indicating its financial stability.”

Copyright Photo: El Al is now planning to retire the last Boeing 767-300 at the end of 2018. El Al Israel Airlines Boeing 767-3Y0 ER 4X-EAP (msn 24953) LHR (SPA). Image: 924583.

El Al aircraft slide show:

El Al delays the launch of the San Francisco route

Named "Haifa"

El Al Israel Airlines is delaying the launch of its new route to San Francisco from November 19, 2018 to November 13, 2019. The new route will operate three days a week with Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: El Al Israel Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner 4X-EDD (msn 63392) PAE (Nick Dean). Image: 941025.

El Al aircraft slide show:

 

El Al tentatively schedules the last Boeing 747 flight

Last revenue flight to be on March 31, 2019: Bangkok - Tel Aviv

El Al Israel Airlines, according to Airline Route, is currently planning to operate the last Boeing 747-400 revenue flight on March 31, 2019. The last flight is currently scheduled on the Bangkok (BKK) – Tel Aviv (TLV) route.

Copyright Photo: El Al Israel Airlines Boeing 747-458 4X-ELD (msn 29328) LHR (Keith Burton). Image: 911506.

El Al aircraft slide show:

Two airliners collide on the ramp at Tel Aviv

Germania flight ST 4915 with Boeing 737-76J D-ABLB (msn 36115) was being pushed back from the gate at Tel Aviv today (March 28) when it collided with a parked El Al Boeing 767-3Q8 ER EX-EAK (msn 27600) operating flight LY 385. Both aircraft sustained substantial damage when the 737 tail struck the horizontal stabilizer of the 767.

There were no reported injuries. Both flights were cancelled.

Twitter photo:

Video:

El Al to start nonstop flights to San Francisco, will drop the UP brand

"Rishon Lezion", delivered on October 8, 2017

El Al Israel Airlines (Tel Aviv) announced today it will begin nonstop service from Tel Aviv to San Francisco in the fourth quarter of 2018. The new route will operate three days a week with the new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. El Al will compete against United Airlines.

El Al is planning to add more new long-range routes as more Dreamliners are delivered. El Al has 16 on order.

In other news, El Al is discontinuing its lower fare Up by El Al service to five destinations in Europe. The Up brand will be retired in 2018 and all European flights will be operated under the El Al brand.

The last Up-branded flight will be October 14, 2018. On October 15, 2018 all flights will be operated as El Al flights.

Up offers inexpensive flights to five main European destinations – Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Larnaca and Kiev.

El Al start Up service on March 30, 2014.

The Boeing 737 fleet is also being refurbished and is expected to be finished in 2019.

Top Copyright Photo: El Al Israel Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner 4X-EDB (msn 42117) LHR (SPA). Image: 940341.

El Al aircraft slide show:

Up aircraft slide show:

Bottom Copyright Photo: Up by El Al (El Al Israel Airlines) Boeing 737-804 WL 4X-EKM (msn 30465) MUC (Arnd Wolf). Image: 922116.

Up by El Al (El Al Israel Airlines) Boeing 737-804 WL 4X-EKM (msn 30465) MUC (Arnd Wolf). Image: 922116.