Photo Credit: Tomás Del Coro / Wikimedia
El Al Airlines Boeing 777 at Los Angeles International Airport, September 3, 2017

Israel’s national carrier, El Al Airlines, is breathing a little easier on the fiscal front – at least as compared to a year ago.

The airline posted a net loss of $80 million for Q2 2021 – as opposed to the devastating hit the company 12 months ago with a net loss of $104 million for Q2 2020, Globes reported Thursday.

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Likewise, the airline’s reported revenue for Q2 2021 was $222 million, as compared to its reported revenue of $151 million for the same period last year.

However, El Al’s operating expenses for Q2 2021 were $242 million.

Part of the reason has to do with the return of employees who were on unpaid leave due to the pandemic. There were also additional expenses for a $25 million increase in the purchase of jet fuel for resumed flights.

“Despite the collapse in passenger numbers at Ben Gurion Airport, we succeeded in stabilizing our activity, kept to the business plan and the targets we set for ourselves for this quarter, and even managed to improve our main operating parameters,” El Al CEO Avigal Soreq told Globes.

“We have a strong brand, a new management, and operating flexibility that we have attained through the streamlining measures that we have carried out. The second quarter results unambiguously demonstrate that when we are allowed to work, we advance by leaps and bounds.

“The spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant obliges us to adapt our expenses to the scope of our business. In addition, we need a further aid package from the state, in the light of the new restrictions on our activity, like El Al’s competitors, which are receiving subsidies from their governments, giving them an unfair competitive advantage.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.