Peres flies away from costly El Al
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Peres flies away from costly El Al

Air Canada steps in; blue-and-white carrier wanted $4,700 to carry a mandatory oxygen tank

Shimon Peres greets immigrants flown in on El Al in 2010. (photo credit: Sasson Tiram/Flash90)
Shimon Peres greets immigrants flown in on El Al in 2010. (photo credit: Sasson Tiram/Flash90)

El Al likes to tell its customers it’s their home in the sky — but that home is a bit too expensive for President Shimon Peres.

Channel 2 reported Wednesday night that Peres, rather than flying with the national carrier, is set to travel overseas with Air Canada. The reason: El Al’s too expensive.

Travel regulations for public officials require the 88-year-old’s personal paramedic to bring an oxygen tank on board flights. When El Al quoted a $4,700 charge for the oxygen tank, the president’s representatives balked. Then, they found a better deal.

Air Canada offered a significantly lower price for the president’s travel, as well as no charge for in-cabin storage for the oxygen tank.

Channel 2 added that El Al officials, including company CEO Eliezer Shkedi, called the President’s Residence trying to rectify the situation — even offering not to charge for the oxygen tank — but they were rebuffed because tickets for Air Canada flights had already been purchased.

The Israeli airline generally has higher prices than its competitors, but offers a strictly kosher menu, tight Israeli security and an in-cabin Israeli atmosphere including a staff that’s understanding of infants and prayer services located at the back of the plane.

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