El Al Considers Canceling Tel Aviv-Cairo Route as Egypt Ties Deteriorate
Israel’s largest airliner, El Al, is considering canceling its Tel Aviv-Cairo route to cut costs, Israel Hayom reported Sunday, citing Israel Radio.
According to the Israel Radio report, company CEO Eliezer Shkedi recently wrote to Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman informing him that the company, which is privately owned but is considered Israel’s national carrier, considers the route unprofitable, in part because of the high security guidelines that must be followed when flying in and out of an Arab capital. By law, El Al must abide by the Israel Security Agency’s directives even on foreign soil, forcing it to manage its own airport screening apparatus and baggage handling system.
A Foreign Ministry official told Israel Radio that if El Al removed Cairo from its list of destinations, the move could imperil the already fragile peace accord between Israel and the most populous Arab state, which has governed bilateral relations since 1979.
“Any time you roll back something, you deal an irreversible blow to the normalized relations between the two countries,” one diplomat told the online news portal NRG on Sunday.