Cabinet Reaffirms Previous Decision to Halt El Al Sabbath Flights

The Cabinet today reaffirmed its previous decision to stop all El Al flights on Saturdays within 10 days, as the Knesset Finance Committee convened in Jerusalem to approve the government’s decision. The Cabinet asked the El Al management to readjust the airline’s schedule so that it will no longer include flights on Saturdays and holidays.

According to the Cabinet decision, El Al will no longer accept orders for Saturday and holiday flights. However, the decision noted that “in view of international commitments, two El Al flights will go on with their present schedule for a limited time.

The Finance Committee, however, did not complete its session. Both Likud coalition and Labor Alignment opposition MKs asked for further details on the economic implications of halting the Sabbath and holiday flights.

The El Al workers committees presented their case against the ban and were expected to continue their presentation at another meeting of the Finance Committee which is scheduled for tomorrow.

The workers complained that the ban would lead to a slow death of El Al. Gaby Saltzman, spokesman for the workers, noted that a previous cutback program resulted in the dismissal of 150 employes who left the country.

However, Transport Minister Haim Corfu, who come to the Committee armed with the Cabinet’s fresh decision, said there was no going back on the decision. Agudat Israel spokesmen said that much of the envisaged $40 million loss due to the ban would be balanced by religious travellers who would fly on El Al.

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