El Al War Losses Heavier Than Projected

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -
An El Al plane seen on the runway at Ben Gurion Airport. (Moshe Shai/Flash 90)
An El Al plane seen on the runway at Ben Gurion Airport. (Moshe Shai/Flash 90)

The economic toll of Operation Protective Edge on El Al Airlines will be more severe than initially expected, Globes said on Thursday.

According to the airline’s revised estimates, the drop in revenue for the third quarter of 2014 will be between $55 million and $65 million. The previous estimate was for $40‑$50 million in lost revenue as a result of the operation.

El Al said, “At this stage, it is too soon to estimate the effects of Operation Protective Edge on the fourth quarter of 2014.”

CEO David Maimon said on Thursday, “The current estimate is the best we can offer at this time, and we took the ceasefire into account when formulating the estimate. But it is very difficult to predict what will happen going forward. This is a very problematic time.”

“Most of the damage is in incoming tourism,” Maimon said. “Bookings by Israelis have not decreased dramatically, only by a few percent, and now they are returning. But, based on previous operations, we can expect that tourism will take longer to recover — roughly six months. Other than the cancellations we recorded, there are also no bookings for August, or for subsequent months.”

El Al says it has asked the Israeli government for compensation for Operation Protective Edge.