El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) chairman Israel (Izzy) Borovich announced that the airline had signed cooperation agreements with Lufthansa AG (XETRA:LUAG; DLAKY.PK), Swiss International Airlines AG (SWX:SWIN) and Austrian Airlines AG (ATX:AUA), and that El Al would arrange its flights to shorten waiting time for connecting flights. He added that the airline would take possession of two Boeing 777s in four months. El Al paid $250 million for the planes.
He made the announcement last week during the dedication of a new El Al business lounge at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. This was the first business lounge that Bank Leumi (TASE: LUMI) is sponsoring for El Al at a cost of $350,000 over five years. Two more lounges, one at Heathrow Airport in London and the other at JFK Airport in New York will be dedicated later this year.
El Al has also signed agreements with other companies to provide services at the business lounges. Strauss-Elite Ltd. (TASE:STEL) will offer breakfasts, Tnuva Food Industries Ltd. is providing health food meals, and Arcaffe will offer coffee and baked goods.
El Al trade manager Rami Levy said the airline will initiate flights to Los Angeles and Miami early this year. He added that the airline’s business passenger traffic rose by 10% in 2006 and predicted that it would rise further this year.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on January 16, 2007
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