El Al’s Profits Soar 370% Amid Monopoly on Routes

By Aryeh Stern

El Al airplanes at Ben Gurion Airport. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

El Al Airlines has experienced a significant boost in profits, jumping 370% in the wake of the war in Gaza. With most foreign airlines suspending flights to and from Israel during the fourth quarter of 2023, El Al secured a virtual monopoly on many routes to and from Israel, holding an 80% market share compared to the previous quarter’s 22%. Despite initial expectations of financial setbacks due to the war, El Al reported stronger demand for its flights, positively influencing business results in the fourth quarter of 2023 and continuing into the first quarter of 2024.

In 2023, El Al’s net profit reached $117 million, marking an increase from $109 million in 2022. Notably, the fourth quarter of 2023 saw a remarkable 370% surge in net profit, totaling $39.7 million compared to the corresponding quarter in 2022. The airline reported a revenue of $677.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2023, a 21% increase, with operating profit also rising by 58%.

While El Al’s market share doubled from October to mid-February, the return of foreign airlines to Israel poses a challenge. United Airlines’ announcement of plans to resume flights in March led to a 14% drop in El Al’s share price. Although certain carriers, including Turkish Airlines and Pegasus, may delay their return, others like Wizz Air, United, EasyJet, and Air India are expected to resume flights in March. El Al’s strategy to maintain and increase its passenger numbers includes a special campaign offering 18,000 tickets to army conscripts and reservists.

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