Israeli Privately-owned Charter Airline Declares Bankrupicy

Maof, Israel’s privatedly-owned charter air line, declared bankruptcy this week, stranding hundreds of Israeli and foreign tourists here and abroad.

The Civil Aviation Authority has arranged to fly the stranded passengers out of Israeli and European airports. But it was uncertain whether holders of Maof tickets on future flights or would-be travellers who have been paying into the company’s savings scheme for vacations next year, will be able to recover their money.

Maof, which owns four Boeing aircraft, applied for receivership last Friday. A Tel Aviv district court appointed Tel Aviv University law professor Yosef Gross temporary receiver. The company posted a $500,000 bond to allow the receiver to charter aircraft from EI AI and Arkia to ferry stranded tourists home.

The company, which began operations three years ago, was the second Israeli company to go into receivership last week, following the Ata textile combine. Maof reportedly is $10 million in debt. It owes about $4 million to the Israeli government and the balance to banks. Observers say Maof over-extended itself by offering more charter flights from Israel to Europe than it could handle with its limited experience and financial resources.

There will be no Daily News Bulletin dated November 12, Veterans Day, a postal holiday.

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