El Al cancellations at 20%-30% [p. 17]

August 13, 2006 07:56
1 minute read.

El Al Israel Airlines is facing a 20 to 30 percent cancellation rate on its incoming flights due to the war in the North, a spokesperson for the company said Thursday. "At the same time we haven't cancelled any of our flights,which also has a financial impact on the company," the spokesperson said. The airline, which is scheduled to release its secondquarter earnings next Thursday, last month issued a profit warning for the end of the year saying that its financials were being affected by increasing competition and the loss of tourism due to the conflict. Adding salt to the wound, airlines around the world took a knock Thursday as the thwarted plans for terror attacks on planes from the UK to the US, gave a stern reminder of the impact terror can have on air travel. Nicole Adler, a business professor at Hebrew University, noted that after the 9/11 attacks air travel demand was cut by some 20% almost immediately and it took around two years to return to the same pre-attack levels. Industry professionals, meanwhile, hinted that the heightened security alerts at London's Heathrow Airport may give El Al a slight advantage over its competitors given its reputation for higher security measures. "You have no idea how many passengers have expressed how pleased they are that they are flying El Al," said Mark Feldman, managing director at ZionTours. "People may have paid more money to fly El Al and they are more than happy they did so." El Al's spokesperson said that its Thursday morning flight out of Tel Aviv to London was delayed three-and-ahalf hours because of the events at Heathrow but that its second flight left on schedule at 7:00 Thursday night.

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