For first time since Israel-Egypt peace treaty, El Al set to halt flights to Cairo
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For first time since Israel-Egypt peace treaty, El Al set to halt flights to Cairo

CEO says security costs and dearth of passengers make weekly service unsustainable

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative photo of planes at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv (photo credit: Serge Attal/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of planes at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv (photo credit: Serge Attal/Flash90)

After more than three decades of uninterrupted service, El Al is to cease its weekly flight from Tel Aviv to Cairo due to the enormous operational costs and a shortage of passengers.

The Israeli airline’s CEO Eliezer Shkedi wrote in a letter to Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman that maintaining the flights involves enormous operational and security resources that cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

“In the absence of a business justification, and in light of the financial resources involved in providing this service, El Al is unable to continue to bear the burden these heavy costs and therefore our intention is to end the service to Cairo immediately,” Shkedi wrote.

Eliezer Shkedi is the current CEO of the Israeli national airline, El Al. (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
Eliezer Shkedi is the current CEO of the Israeli national airline, El Al. (photo credit: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

El Al has operated a weekly flight between Tel Aviv and Cairo for over 30 years, since the signing of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. However, following the ousting of former president Hosni Mubarak a year and a half ago, it reduced the service to a bare minimum as fewer and fewer people are traveling the route.

Shkedi suggested that if the Foreign Ministry is interested in maintaining the service, the government will need to provide the considerable financial resources required to continue flights.

A Jerusalem official told Army Radio that maintaining the route had diplomatic importance and that it was in Israel’s interest to keep it operating.

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