Search AeroXplorer
Israeli Airlines Have Refunded More Than $155 Million to Passengers After Widespread Cancellations

Israeli Airlines Have Refunded More Than $155 Million to Passengers After Widespread Cancellations


Israel's commercial aviation industry has suffered severe losses as a result of the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict that escalated immensely in October. Since October, Israeli airlines, such as El Al and Israir, have been unable to forecast their losses truly but have expected negative financial hits this quarter. The results are now public under the enforcement of the Tibi Law, which mandates that all airlines in Israel refund customers for flight cancellations.


Photo: Michael Hai | AeroXplorer

When the Knesset's Economic Committee recently convened, it was revealed that $155 million had been refunded to customers due to canceled flights during the ongoing conflict across all airlines in Israel. Of that, $20 million belongs to Israir, and the rest goes to El Al. El Al and Israir called for a delay in the law's enforcement due to the financial losses it caused. There is now the further potential of the law being amended entirely.



It is apparent that the industry is suffering in many other ways. Many airlines have canceled or suspended flights to Tel Aviv Ben-Gurion (TLV), and repatriation and military flights carrying cargo or ammunition have been introduced. Indeed, El Al has transported over 13,000 tons of cargo across passenger flights and on empty passenger aircraft.


Photo: Michael Hai | AeroXplorer

Nearly all foreign flights into Tel Aviv have been suspended because of insurance issues. Domestic carriers have been able to continue operating certain flights with insurance backed by the Israeli government.



El Al's Vice President of Commerce and International Affairs, Shlomi Zafrani, noted, "If El Al had not existed, the airport would have almost closed down, [as] we fly almost 80% of those passing through the airport." Israir is seeing similar disruptions, operating only 30% of seats compared to normal. Arkia, the second-largest airline based in Israel behind El Al, also faces problems, having to lay off 200 employees and requesting that the state assist them in hiring essential workers.


Photo: Michael Hai | AeroXplorer

El Al has substantially updated their flight schedule, including adding flights to and from North America, Thailand, Paris, and London while suspending flights to other destinations. Booking patterns have changed as well, according to the airline. Many Israeli citizens are making bookings at the last minute instead of far out in advance.



Even with these losses, the industry is expected to recover. El Al's third quarter was quite successful, with the airline reporting $696 million in revenue, a 70% increase in net profit compared to Q3 in 2022, a 60% increase in cash flow compared to Q3 in 2022, and a slight load factor improvement. Such statistics likely indicate the airline can manage fiscal drawbacks this quarter.


Photo: Michael Hai | AeroXplorer

Of final note is that the situation caused a major policy change to El Al: they operated flights over Shabbat for the first time in 40+ years, as they transported fighters with Order 8 and Security and Rescue Forces to Bangkok and New York back in mid-October. These flights were offered free of charge for eligible passengers.

 AeroXplorer is on Telegram! Subscribe to the AeroXplorer Telegram Channel to receive aviation news updates as soon as they are released. View Channel 
Davis Turner
Planespotter and aviation journalist from the San Francisco Bay Area. Davis has previously worked on business plan research with StartupBoeing and historical analysis with Ricondo and Associates. Davis will be a freshman in college this fall, based in Chicago.

Comments (0)

Add Your Comment



NEWS Israel Palestine War Geopolitics Conflict El Al Tel Aviv TLV


Malaysian Tourists Are Suddenly Flocking to This Welsh City. Here's Why The expansion of airline and tourism sponsors in professional football clubs has grown in recent years. Cardiff City FC, a Welsh-based club playing in the second division of English football, has the Malaysian Tourism Board as a shirt sponsor. Malaysia aims to expand its UK presence beyond Malaysia Airlines offering nonstop flights between Kuala Lumpur (KUL) and London-Heathrow (LHR). INFORMATIONAL READ MORE »
Attempted Hijacking of Israeli Passenger Plane Sparks Worldwide Security Alerts External actors attempted to seize control over the communication network of an El Al flight from Phuket International Airport (HKT) to Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) on February 17. During the flight, external actors on the rogue radio gave the crew a guide on the normal course of their set route. The abnormality of the situation led to questioning whether this changed guide was not an official instruction. NEWS READ MORE »
Starlux Airlines Orders Three Airbus A330neos and Five A350Fs at Singapore Airshow Starlux Airlines ordered three Airbus A330neo planes and five A350F freighters at the Singapore Airshow on February 21. The Taiwanese carrier aims to expand its fleet and route network after commencing operations in January 2020. NEWS READ MORE »


NEW!AeroXplorer Aviation Sweater Use code AVGEEK for 10% off! BUY NOW