TEL AVIV (Apr. 27)
El Al, Israel’s national airline, has sustained a 10 percent loss of American bookings to Europe and the Middle East because of the terrorist threat following the U.S. air strike against Libya on April 14. But it has suffered far less than other airlines which on the average have lost 35 percent of their bookings, according to El Al spokesman Nahman Kleiman.
He said the Israeli carrier benefitted from media reports of its security measures, considered the most stringent of any airline. Many American tourists coming to Israel prefer the direct flights to Tel Aviv offered by El Al. Other airlines require a change of planes in Europe.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Tourism reported an increase of tourism to Israel from Europe. Traffic from West Germany increased by four percent in the first quarter of 1986 compared to the same period in 1985, he said. There has been a six percent rise from the United Kingdom, four percent from Switzerland and 27 percent from all of the Scandinavian countries.