El Al cancels Saturday night flights from London due to Shabbat - report

Passengers on the canceled flights will either be able to get a refund or switch to the Friday flight from London.

 : An Israel El Al airlines plane is seen after its landing following its inaugural flight between Tel Aviv and Nice at Nice international airport, France, April 4, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/ERIC GAILLARD/FILE PHOTO)
: An Israel El Al airlines plane is seen after its landing following its inaugural flight between Tel Aviv and Nice at Nice international airport, France, April 4, 2019.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ERIC GAILLARD/FILE PHOTO)

El Al is canceling Saturday night flights from London to Tel Aviv during the summer months in order to avoid starting check-in before Shabbat ends, N12 reported on Sunday.

This will reportedly cancel 12 flights that leave London for Tel Aviv every Saturday night in the summer. N12 also reported that the change was initiated by the company's new owner Kenny Rozenberg, who is an Orthodox Jew.  

Passengers on the canceled flights will either be able to get a refund or switch to the Friday flight from London.

"Due to the change in the times when Shabbat ends with the transition to summer hours, and due to the restrictions on departures from Heathrow Airport, we have had to make adjustments to the flight schedule," El Al wrote in a statement according to N12. "We apologize for the inconvenience caused to our customers as a result of this change."

Kenny Rozenberg took over ownership of the company from his son Eli Rozenberg in April. He had been its controlling shareholder since 2020 when he invested NIS 360m. in an effort to keep the company afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Globes.

 British Airways passenger plane prepares to land at Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London (credit: REUTERS) British Airways passenger plane prepares to land at Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London (credit: REUTERS)

Rozenberg has lost hundreds of millions of shekels on the investment, Globes reported. However, El Al reported its biggest quarterly profit since 2015 in the fourth quarter of 2022. Rozenberg is reportedly counting on the current boom in the tourism industry continuing into 2023. 

El Al branching out to new frontiers

El Al participated in hosting a formal Eurovision Gala with the British and Ukrainian embassies in Israel on April 20. 

“All of us at EL AL are thrilled to be the official transporter of the Israeli delegation to the Eurovision competition," El Al CEO Dina Ben Tal said. "It is such an honor to be the national airline that carries the Israeli flag on company aircraft.

“EL AL has always been the bridge that connects between Israel and the world, we see ourselves as flying ambassadors. Part of our values is to promote Israeli success worldwide. I would like to thank everyone who took part in this opportunity and wish our Noa, who is an integral part of the EL AL family, good luck!"