El Al Embarks on Its 21st Year
Still a "baby" in the field of •mercial aircraft between New when it decided—subject to gov-
ernment approval — to buy the
.urline giants. El Al at age 20 is York and London.
corning to maturity in many ways
El Al stepped up its Tel Aviv- giant Boeing 747. an aircraft Cap-
that command the respect of inter- - New York services to five a week. able of carrying more than 400
and doubled its share of the At- passengers at high speeds on
With only seven pure-jet air- lantic traffic within a year. The trans-Atlantic routes. The first
craft but planning to fly 10, in- impetus of this bold move of buy- 747 is scheduled for services in
cluding the "jumbo jet" by the 4 ing the new aircraft was enough to 1971 and a second - giant jet:' may
end of 1971), El Al competes suc- put El Al among the top interna- be obtained for 1973. As an inter-
cessfully with such trans-Atlantic tional aviation companies, a posi- im measure • the airline ordered
two additiona4 707-320's.
goliaths as TWA and Pan Amer- tion it has held ever since.
The El Al fleet, consists of Boe-
Throughout this development
ican, each of which has about 150
eings—three 707-420's, two 707-
a fierce public debate was being
aircraft, and Air France, with
well over 100 aircraft.
El Al was incorporated under
the laws of the new State of Is-
rael on Nov. 15, 1948, with a
share capital of 12.000,000 pounds.
Unlike other airlines it (lid not
begin as a commercial enterprise.
but as an instrument to facilitate
the in-gathering to Israel of immi-
grants the world over.
In those early days one of the
larger expenditures of the airline
was for paint, as the entire- air-
- craft would sometimes receive a
temporary repaint job, whenever
it had to fly over more dangerous' SST SUPERSONIC AIRCRAFT, LIKE THIS ONE, ON EL AL ORDER
areas on its mercy flights.
waged in Israel about El Al's 320Bs acquired recently, and two
The airline began in times of
usefulness to the state; the jus- medium-range' 720B's.
crises, and inherited a flexibility
tification of investing such vast
Despite its relative smallness.
which has proved its strong point
sums of money in a small enter-
El Al has one of the highest load
through difficult years. The begin-
prise and the commercial feasi-
factors (percentage seats filled)
ning could hardly be called prom-
bility of a tiny country like Is .-
among the "Big 17," and offers
ising. It was flying army surplus
rael tttempting to compete with
services comparable to any inter-
equipment, on limited capital. Yet
the international aviation giants national company.
this "bootstrap" airline began ex-
of the world.
panding. Using DC-3 Dakota trans-
El Al operates within three
This debate was reaching tits
ports. and later DC-4 Skymasters.
major route patterns. The first
by 1949 El Al was flying schedul- height when the Sinai campaign
and most important economic-
ed routes between Israel and brought it to an abrupt halt. In
ally is the North Atlantic be-
the course of the campaign all tween New York and the Euro-
Rome and Paris.
other airlines suspended their
pean gateWays. The second
The following .year it obtain-
services to Israel.
network links Tel Aviv with
ed the Constellation, and routes
Pride took the place of doubt.
most of Europe's capitals, and
were expanded. Athens, Vienna,
Zurich, London. Nairobi. Johan- and shortly thereafter the govern- the third comprises El Al's
nisburg, New York were added ment of Israel committed itself African route between Tel
within the first two years, and fully to the idea of building El Al Aviv/Nairobi/Johannesburg. A
recent innovation has been di-
then Istanbul, Brussels. Am- into a major international airline.
The logic next' step led to the
rect flights to Nairobi over the
sterdam, Teheran, Frankfurt,
Sea, which cuts flying time
Munich and Copenhagen follow-
Tel Aviv/Nairobi to 4 1 a hours.
ed later. -
Pure-jet services began in Jan-
The next seven years are some-
In addition, El Al operates "lo-
times referred to as the "lean uary 1961, with three Boeing 707- cal area" routes between Tel Aviv
years" in 'El Al's history. The
Teheran and IStanbul. El Al routes
15, 1961, the Israel airline thus link Israel with four contin-
comp, ny attempted to establish
itself as a member of the inter- inaugurated the first non-stop serv- ents.
national airline family, compet- i ce betw een New Y ork and Tel
Obviously El Al is a crucial fac-
ing for t
c m a r k e Aviv, establishing a new record tor in the expanding economy of
with an "nadequate fleet of four by offering the world's longest Israel. It earns valuable foreign
non-stop flight, incidentally, estab-
-lished a record of 9 hours, 35 currency. It promotes tourism to
Towards the end of 1957 the minutes flying time.
Israel both through its world-wide
government, the majority share-
In 1962 two more Boeing 720B network of offices and its adver-
holder of El Al (the Jewish
and promotional activities,
medium-range jet aircraft were
Agency. Zim and 'the Histadrut
added to the El Al fleet, and the on which it .spends more than
hold minority shares) made a
three times the amount of the com-
bold decision when it decided to last of the old piston-engined air- bined budgets. of all relevant in-
acquire four of the most modern craft were phased out of operation. stitutions in Israel. El Al brings
Continuing its forward-looking in over 50 per:cent of the air tour-
aircraft then available — Bristol
policies, El Al made deposits in ists to Israel, and plays a vital
On Dec. 22, 1957, at a time 1964 for two U.S. supersonic trans- part in the hotel and tourist in-
when the other airlines were still port aircraft, obtaining delivery dustry. Its policy has always been
flying piston-engined aircraft, the positions 10 and 14 and ensuring it to promote Israel first, and El Al
first of El Al's new fleet of Britan- of SST .aircraft within their first second. It carries out effective
nias, sped across the Atlantic to year of production in the United promotion t h r o u g h advertising
establish for Israel a new- blue States.
campaigns, dissemination of infor-
ribbon speed record for the short-
In 1967 the company made an- mation, printing of magazines,
est time loggd till then by a corn- other bold and dramatic decision, and the bringing to Israel of travel
S170,000,000 Expansion Begun by El Al
JERUSALEM (JTA)—EI Al Is-
rael's national airline, announced
that it will invest over $170,000,000
during the next four yeakto ex-
pand its services, add more flights
•its first two Boeing 747 Jumbo-jets
in June and November 1971, air-
craft with a capacity of 400 pas-
sengers. A hew Boeing 707•will go
into service for El Al next Janu-
and larger aircraft. • a ry.
According' to the company's di-
The airline, which presently has
rectors, El Al will place in service flights to Europe, South Africa and
Orange Terminal in NYC
and tourist w riters, radio and
television personnel, and agents.
It hying,, these people in mainly
(luring the winter season and con-
tinually promotes the "off-season"
holiday to Israel, to encourage a
balanced tourist year.
It was the first airline to sug-
gest the concept of the group fare,
today used throughout the world.
It has also been instrumental in
lowering freight rates between Tel
Aviv- and countries throughout the
world. and lately has obtained
major freight-rate discounts to
many of these African countries.
On June 5, 1967 the armies of
Egypt, Jordan and Syria launched
"fifth pod," whereby the engine
to be overhauled is attached to the
wing of the Boeing as a "fifth en-
gine." Ilowever the - Boeing modi-
fication • called for an operation
involving some hours. El Al per-
sonnel devised a method of at-
taching or removing the pod in 33
minutes, well within the stopover
time at en route airports.
attacks on several fronts. All out-
side airlines stopped flying to 'Is-
rael—except El Al. Although many
of her personnel were now serv-
ing in the defence forces, El Al
flew scheduled routes, carrying
passengerp.: and cargo. Those re-
maining of the 2,800 personnel all
over the world did double time,
keeping essential offices opened
around the clock. Hostesses be-
came bus drivers, office clerks
loaded airplanes, and management
helped clean out hangars. As a
precaution passengers l e a v in g
from Lod airport were kept at the
neighboring Avia Hotel, out of
range of enemy fire, until the El
Al -aircraft were ready to leave.
After the year the company
had to try and make good losses
of millions of dollars. She began
an intensified tourist campaign,
together with the ministry of
tourism. The center of the cam-
paign o•as, naturally enough,
the once more united city of
El Al Israel Airlines is celebrat-
ing the 20th anniversary of service
to the state, to the Jewish people
and to international air travel.
In u - or and peace, El Al has as-
sured safe and solid comniunica-
tions between Israel and the world.
Jerusalem, which offered all the It has provided the eagle's wings
holy sites without the bother of
for the homecoming of our dis-
crossing borders or facing guns.
persed tribes. Pilgrim. tourist busi-
Travel agents and writers were nessman or scholar get more out
their visit to Israel by begin-
key figures in the campaign, as
ning it the moment they step on to
they were given the opportunity
the El Al plane and concluding it
to see for themselves that Israel
only when they bid Shalom to their
was safe, virtually unmarked,
El Al hostesses.
and had more than ever to offer
And El Al plays its share fully
in the export drive, carrying Isra-
'The success of this campaign el goods rapidly and with care to
was shown in the hundreds of many foreign markets. No wonder,
travel reports and articles all over then, that it is one of the few na-
the world. It was also evident in tional airlines in the world show-
ing a profit and did $63,000,000 of
the strength of the tourist stream business last year.
which began to flow into Israel,
Al has proved itself worthy
which filled hotels, brought in mil- of El
our support and we hope that
lions of dollars, and may yet aid soon it will open a direct service
El Al to overcome initial losses.
to the, Midwest.
When El Al was founded most
of its pilots, and many of the
skilled workers were foreigners.
Today the airline is more than 97
per cent Israeli. This is due in no
small measure to the Training
School at Lod Airport, headquar-
ters of El Al.
Consul General of Israel
in the Midwest
Thanks From El Al
The school began as a small
wooden hut, with a volunteer giv-
ing French and mathematics les-
sons to anyone interested. Today
the training department occupies
a large complex. Audio-visual sys-
tems are used, lecturers are Is-
raeli. and there • are working
models, mockups, and a simulator
section for training and upgrad-
All El Al personnel, from flight
crews, cabin attendants, through
ground staff, mechanics and fit-
ters, to commercial personnel are
trained at this school, and to keep
up standards many upgrading and
refresher courses are given
throughout the year.
All airframe and engine main- To My Friends in the Midwest:
The company's directors claimed
that El Al's passenger traffic has tenance is carried out at the Lod
As u- e begin in the celebration
not suffered as a result of Arab base, on an "equalized" mainten- of El Al's 20th anniversary, I ant
! the United Stales, will begin nego-
tiating at the end of this month for
a new line to Canada. A decision
in principle has also been taken to
establish twice weekly flights be-
tween Tel Aviv, Rio de Janeiro
and Montevideo, via Rome, to
begin next winter.
terrorist attacks on its planes in
Zurich and Athens and continuous
terrorist threats. They said that,
on the contrary, many passenger ,,
ance basis. Aircraft generally
leave for abroad in the morning,
and return to base in the evening,
with the requisite equipment then
had transferred to El Al from available for maintenance during
other carriers during the past the night hours. This system en-
ures a high rate of daily utiliza-
tion, among the highest in the
The expansion of Israel's airline world.
is in sharp contrast with the de-
While engine maintenance is
cline of Israel-flag passenger ship-
carried out at Lod, engines must
ping. Last month the Zim Lines he sent for overhaul to
sold the S.S. Theodor Herzl, one of facturers or their licensed
This is the exterior view of the newly opened El Al Terminal at
Kennedy Airport in New York. The orange terminal is considered
Israel's four remaining passenger To reduce the costs and
one of the world's finest.
liners. Five have since been sold
transportation time to Paris and
and one is on long term charter to London, El
Al personnel worked
26—Friday, September 19, 1969
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS a foreign company.
on the Boeing concept
delighted to learn of the decision
by The Jewish News. to publish
the Midwest Jewish C0111111102 it y's
salute to our company, the air-
line of the State of Israel.
In the face of great challenge.
El Al is constantly moving toward
the improvement of its serviceS.
The future holds great promise.
With the cooperation df our
friends all over the world, as ex-
pressed by the generous gesture
of The Jewish News, ice face Our
future with confidence.
. El Al Israel Au nes
Vice President for
North and Central