Poll: Israelis Feel Safer With Israeli Pilot

An El Al airline plane at Ben Gurion International Airport. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

Israelis feel safer when flying on a plane with an Israeli pilot. A new poll shows that two-thirds of Israeli plane passengers preferred an Israeli pilot when flying. Among those age 55 and older, the figure was 80%. The poll was taken of a representative sample of 506 Israelis.

The poll related to Israelis flying abroad, and encompassed even those who did not fly with Israeli carriers like El Al and Arkia. Six percent of those who said that they preferred an Israeli pilot said that it was the most important criterion when they chose a flight, and as a result they flew exclusively with Israeli carriers. The importance of an Israeli pilot was seen throughout the country, with residents of the Sharon most “loyal,” with 76% saying that an Israeli pilot on the plane was among the most important criterion for them.

Israelis prefer an Israeli pilot for their experience and determination, according to the poll. Among the reasons for their preference was also the fact that almost all Israelis employed as pilots had experience in air combat in the Israeli Air Force, and therefore were felt to be more capable of dealing with air emergencies than commercially trained foreign pilots.

Meidan Barr, head of the Israeli Pilots Union, said that the group “is proud of the trust Israelis have in Israeli pilots. That trust is based on years of experience in the air. We will continue to provide service to our passengers and provide the safest and most beneficial flight experience possible.”