The 2013 Open Skies agreement with Europe didn't crush El Al and its stock price has soared based on diving oil prices and the strength of the shekel. The trends don't look so great, though, as tourism is slumping because of the spate of knifings and other political violence.
We think El Al's female flight attendants should have to wear heels when its male crew have to wear leather chaps and speedos.
Israeli authorities may not go along with Ryanair's plans because it sees Ryanair as a competitive threat to an already struggling El Al.
ViaSat claims it has the fastest in-flight Wi-Fi available and raising the standard for service in European skies will effectively force other carriers to speed up their service. The El Al deal is one way for ViaSat to kickstart market penetration outside of the U.S.
With increasing competition from low cost carriers, El Al will have to up its game. Israel's flag carrier just brought in a new CEO, and it has so far not emitted any signals that it is up to the long-term challenge.
As part of El Al's techniques, employees ask passengers a flurry of seemingly random questions before they get to the ticket counter, looking for holes in their stories or deception. If trained properly, U.S. airlines would do well in emulating the practice for security's sake.
Politics are keeping El Al out of the three major alliances; a bias the airline says keeps it from competing with European carriers. What El Al needs is an alliance similar to the Qatar-Emirates tie-up.
Given new chess moves such as Emirates' new relationship with Qantas, some would argue that the importance of global airline alliances are diminishing. El Al's best options, however, remain with the global alliances, but they are turning a deaf ear.
This deal, if it holds up, looks like a win-win for El Al and travelers. El Al will face intense competition, but at least the government will foot the bill for its substantial security costs. And travelers flying in and out of Israel should benefit from more choice in carriers and lower fares.
An increase in flights would benefit Israel’s entire tourism industry, including Israeli airlines should the country jump in global prominence as it becomes easier and cheaper to visit.