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El Al Reports Record Passenger Loads, Profits, Despite Terrorist Attacks

El Al, Israel’s national airline, carried a record number of passengers and earned a record profit during the last fiscal year despite the fact that two of its planes were targets of fatal attacks by Arab terrorists during that period.

According to Mordechai Ben Ari, the airline’s managing director, the company earned a net profit of $1,88 million after taxes and will distribute its first dividend of $120,000 in cash and $145,000 in bonus shares. Transport Minister Moshe Carmel disclosed that El Al carried over a million passengers last year and predicted that the number would double in the next four years. Mr. Carmel said that traffic on El Al’s trans-Atlantic route increased by 35 percent compared to a six percent increase averaged by other airlines on the same route. An El Al airliner was attacked by Arab terrorists at Athens Airport last December resulting in the death of one passenger. A pilot trainee was fatally wounded in another attack at Zurich Airport in March.