David Brodet announced his resignation as chairman of El Al on Sunday.
Only eight months ago, in October 2020, Brodet was appointed chairman.
Brodet had wanted to resign two weeks ago, but due to the IDF operation in Gaza, he postponed his resignation.
Referring to the lockdowns because of the coronavirus pandemic that shut down the airline’s activity, and to its precarious financial position, Brodet, a former chairman of Bank Leumi, wrote, “I joined El Al because of its severe condition out of recognition of its importance as Israel’s national airline. El Al is an extremely important strategic asset for the State of Israel, especially considering the fact that air transport is almost the only way that travelers can enter and leave Israel, and El Al always operates, even in situations in which the foreign airlines stop flying here.
“I saw it as a duty and a privilege to join El Al in its hour of difficulty, to be part of the huge effort to ensure the airline’s survival, at a time when the world was closed to air traffic, and to prepare it for the recovery after the crisis. I didn’t hide anything, and I even said that I had come ‘for reserve duty’. I set goals for myself, and I’m happy to say that they have been achieved accordingly. As far as I’m concerned, my period of reserve duty has come to an end,” Brodet wrote.
After enumerating the steps taken by El Al to obtain government aid, streamline its workforce, and raise capital, Brodet wrote: “I am also proud of the fact that during this whole difficult period for El Al, I took care that, as a public company, it should keep to the rules of corporate governance and to a regime of proper, orderly reporting. El Al is a veteran company that has been able to deal with challenges over the years, and I believe that it will be able to deal with this difficult crisis as a well. There is still a great deal to do in order to recover from the severe crisis that has struck El Al. I am certain that it now has all the conditions and the tools it needs to succeed.”
Last week, El Al released financials for the first quarter of 2021 showing that its financial position continues to be gloomy, with the global aviation industry still in a state of uncertainty. The airline did manage to cut its loss by almost 40% in comparison with the first quarter of 2020, but it remained high, at $86 million. In 2020 as a whole, El Al had a huge, $531 million loss.
Brodet’s resignation comes near the completion of the process of making Kenny (Naftali) Rosenberg, the father of El Al’s controlling shareholder, Eli Rosenberg, the official controlling shareholder and director of the company following the completion of his naturalization process in Israel. Rosenberg, as mentioned, is on his way to becoming the official owner of El Al and the dominant person in the company through the company “Eagles’s Wings Aviation,” which holds 42.9% of the shares of El Al.