El Al Airlines’ practice of leasing its planes to foreign companies has led to the fraudulent sale of tickets under the national carrier’s name, a group of Israeli pilots are saying, according to Ynet.
In a letter to Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, Captain Yossi Shuv wrote: “There are more than 10 leased planes in Israel’s skies. The passengers bought a ticket from an Israeli company, but in reality, without knowing it, they bought from a foreign airline, foreign crews and foreign planes.”
Shuv argued that people buying El Al tickets are willing to pay more for a superior product, and in these cases they’re not getting what they’re paying for.
“In practice, the passengers were given an inferior product in the form of an unidentified plane, foreign technicians and pilots with unknown credentials,” he alleged.
In response, El Al said that it engages with other companies to ensure backup in case of disruptions in the flight schedule.
“Unfortunately, due to the lack of available personnel for some of the flights, and in order to prevent the cancellation of flights, we employ accepted practices according to which we can be assisted by various aircraft fleets and other companies in order to implement the flight.”
El Al also rejected charge that the crews are unknown. The foreign companies must meet the strict safety standards of El Al and have received full clearance from the airport authorities, they said.
“El Al staff join all of the flights in order to assist with the service. The safety procedures and checks exist…and the ground services are provided by El Al personnel. The food and the drinks are kosher and the service is identical to the service on El Al flights.”