Israeli carrier El Al was forced to ask for government assistance following a sharp fall in profits in Q3 as a result of military action in the Gaza Strip.
In announcing its Q3 results for 2014 yesterday (November 26), the airline’s CEO, David Maimon, confirmed that “Operation Protective Edge”, the military campaign launched by the Israeli government against Hamas on July 8, was “the central factor in the significant decline in the company's profitability”.
In comparison with Q3 2013, El Al’s earnings before tax fell by 43 per cent and gross profits fell by 32 per cent, with occupancy rates falling to 82.1 per cent from 84.8 per cent during the same period last year.
“This is the first time since the Second Lebanon War in 2006 in which El Al presents a significant decline in third quarter profits which is traditionally considered as its strongest quarter,” commented Maimon.
The carrier was also hit by a 5.2 per cent increase in its fuel costs as a result of its hedging activities.