"With expenses and no revenue we face bankruptcy" Eli Defes, Chairman EL AL
Time is running out to save the airline, which seeks a $200-300 million state guaranteed loan.
Interview by Michal Raz-Chaimovich Published in Globes March 27, 2020
While much of what I write is in the form of rants, raves, rumblings, and just occasionally meaningful comments, these collective musings also act as a digital scrapbook. Whether I or others in the future review the texts, they will act as a commentary to the times they were written.
Such is the interview that was given by EL AL Chairman, Eli Defes.
So, here we are, March 29, 2020, in the midst of a battle that we must win. I know many do not like to refer to our common battle with the coronavirus as a war, the thinking is I guess that such a term takes away from a real armed conflict. Maybe. Nevertheless, we are engaged in a struggle with a foe, that if we as a nation, must-win. And like any such struggle, there are causalities, both human and commercial.
Eli Defes states that EL AL is unlike Arkia or Israir in that it also undertakes security missions for the State of Israel, and as the country’s national airlines must be bailed out. He makes a strong case for government support, assuming of course that Israel wishes to retain a national airline.
Burning bridges is easy, rebuilding following the defeat of the coronavirus is another story.
Proir to corona we had a choice, EL AL or any number of regular or low-cost airlines. Post corona it may well be a different story as a number of both regular and low-cost airlines appear right now to be on the verge of collapse. Just maybe, we will rue the day we turned out backs on EL AL.