El Al’s Sun D’Or loses operating license

Cancellation of license follows complaints from European authorities that Sun D’Or was in practice not an independent company and makes use of El Al planes and crews.

By OMER RABIN / GLOBES
March 20, 2011 22:48
1 minute read.
An El Al plane taxiing down the runway

58_el al plane. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The Israel Civil Aviation Authority canceled the operating license of El Al Airlines unit Sun D’Or on Sunday.

The El Al subsidiary was founded in 1977 and has served as a carrier to several European destinations as well as for flights on Shabbat, sometimes in El Al planes.

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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 how El Al will act regarding 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 Shabbat flights and starting to openly fly on Shabbat, or being forced to give up a significant market share and income and grounding its planes over the weekend.”


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