After only about eight months on the job, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of El Al David Brodet submitted his resignation on Sunday. Brodet said he wanted to resign three weeks ago, but chose not to do it during the period of security tensions.
“I joined El Al because of its serious situation, in recognition of its importance as Israel’s national airline,” Brodet wrote the board. “El Al is a very significant strategic asset for the State of Israel, especially in light of the fact that air transport is almost the only way for passengers to enter and leave Israel, and El Al continues to operate even in situations where other companies are down.”
It is unknown at this time who will replace him.
Brodet, who served as head of the Israeli delegation for economic negotiations with the PLO after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1994, was appointed to lead El Al after it had been acquired by Haredi businessman Eli Rosenberg’s Wings of Eagles Aviation.
Brodet noted that his eight months in office coincided with a time when the company’s operations had been almost completely discontinued due to the Corona crisis, starting October 2020. During his tenure, El Al experienced a third lockdown and the shutdown of Ben Gurion Airport, events that continue to make things difficult for the airline from every possible aspect.
During the Corona pandemic, El Al was on the verge of bankruptcy, with debts of more than a billion shekels (roughly $310 million) to passengers who hold tickets for flights that were canceled. After lengthy negotiations, the airline and the state reached an agreement whereby the state would provide guarantees for a $250 million loan, and the airline would raise an additional $150 million through selling stocks.
According to the agreement, the state would complete the amount should EL AL fail to reach its goal. In mid-September, El Al raised NIS 505 million ($155 million) in an IPO. Control of the company passed into the hands of businessman Eli Rosenberg, who purchased about 43% of El Al’s shares through Wings of Eagles Aviation. The state has purchased shares worth about $34 million. With the funds raised, the Israeli airline was supposed to start returning the money it owes to its customers due to the canceled flights.