El Al's Sun D'Or loses operating license

Sun D'Or operates Saturday flights, sometimes using El Al planes and crew.

The Israel Civil Aviation Authority has cancelled the operating license of El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE:ELAL) unit Sun D'Or. The El Al subsidiary was founded in 1977 and has served as a carrier to several European destinations as well as for flights on Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath), sometimes in El Al planes.

The cancellation of the license followed complaints from the European authorities that Sun D'Or was in practice not an independent company and makes use of El Al planes and crews.

According to Israel's Ministry of Transport, the license will be revoked from April 1 after El Al was given a hearing on the matter last Thursday. It is still not known what El Al will do about customers who hold Sun D'Or tickets for after April 1.

A senior industry source told "Globes", "El Al will be forced to choose between two difficult options - coming out of the closet regarding Saturday flights and starting to openly fly on Saturday, or being forced to give up a significant market share and income and grounding its planes over the weekend."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 20, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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