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Business impact of EL AL not flying on the Sabbath

Business impact of EL AL not flying on the Sabbath

Old Jun 7, 20, 12:35 pm
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Business impact of EL AL not flying on the Sabbath

Require the airline to fly 7 days a week as a condition of the bailout package.

There's no reason the airline should be forced to compete with an iron shackle around its leg. Especially if public funds are being disbursed to keep it alive.
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Old Jun 7, 20, 12:38 pm
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Originally Posted by M60_to_LGA View Post
Require the airline to fly 7 days a week as a condition of the bailout package.

There's no reason the airline should be forced to compete with an iron shackle around its leg.
No one is forcing to be closed on Saturday.
It's totally their choice and they are assuming that securing the haredi business all week long is better than gaining the hiloni business on Saturday.

​​​It's totally stupid, but it is what it is.

​​​​​​
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Old Jun 7, 20, 3:20 pm
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Originally Posted by M60_to_LGA View Post
Require the airline to fly 7 days a week as a condition of the bailout package.

There's no reason the airline should be forced to compete with an iron shackle around its leg. Especially if public funds are being disbursed to keep it alive.
Or simply close the airport all the times that LY cant fly, so everyone is on an equal footing, but the employees will never let that happen they want all the extra money for working on Shabbat

Besides it wi;l; allow them to do a complete cleaning of the whole airport top to bottom
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Old Jun 8, 20, 7:35 am
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Originally Posted by Fly613 View Post
No one is forcing to be closed on Saturday.
It's totally their choice and they are assuming that securing the haredi business all week long is better than gaining the hiloni business on Saturday.

​​​It's totally stupid, but it is what it is.

​​​​​​
We're not disagreeing. If they want public money, then the state should require them to not take totally stupid business decisions.
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Old Jun 8, 20, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by M60_to_LGA View Post
We're not disagreeing. If they want public money, then the state should require them to not take totally stupid business decisions.
Oh I see what you mean.
​You can picture the State asking a company to open on Saturdays?
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Old Jun 8, 20, 10:10 am
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Originally Posted by Fly613 View Post
Oh I see what you mean.
​You can picture the State asking a company to open on Saturdays?
We can dream, right?

I mean, seriously, what would happen if they did? Are the haredim going to suddenly stop flying El Al? They seem to have no problem flying other airlines that operate on Saturdays. If they don't want to fly that day, obviously no one is forcing them to.
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Old Jun 8, 20, 10:11 am
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Originally Posted by M60_to_LGA View Post
We're not disagreeing. If they want public money, then the state should require them to not take totally stupid business decisions.
What too many people fail to understand is that it is NOT a "totally stupid business decision" at all, but a very sound one. If they flew on Shabbat they would instantly lose one of their biggest money making markets. NO chareidim would fly with them any more. NONE. They would ALL move to other (non-Jewish owned) airlines where there is no religious reason for them to keep Shabbat. They are not stupid at all. They have done their homewoirk and concluded that they would lose more money that way than by not flying on Shabbat.
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Old Jun 8, 20, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by mikebg View Post
What too many people fail to understand is that it is NOT a "totally stupid business decision" at all, but a very sound one. If they flew on Shabbat they would instantly lose one of their biggest money making markets. NO chareidim would fly with them any more. NONE. They would ALL move to other (non-Jewish owned) airlines where there is no religious reason for them to keep Shabbat. They are not stupid at all. They have done their homewoirk and concluded that they would lose more money that way than by not flying on Shabbat.
This is exactly LY mindset, and I've heard management say that multiple times. They also said that the day the haredim would stop valuing the fact that LY doesn't fly on Shabat they will have no issues doing so.

I just thing that it is not a reflection of the reality. I can't picture the haredim boycotting LY because they are mehalel shabat. Im sure there will be noise at first but then people will make peace with the idea.

you have buses operating in Haifa on Saturday, and Sherut in Tel aviv.. you don't see haredim boycotting those.

But maybe I've too naive
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Old Jun 8, 20, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Fly613 View Post
No one is forcing to be closed on Saturday.​​​​​​
It was not always that way.

It was originally forced upon El Al by the government in 1949, when the religious parties insisted on El Al not flying on Shabbat as a condition of joining the coalition (which could not have been formed without their support). In the 70's, El Al started skirting that prohibition by having flights depart foreign airports on Shabbat but arrive in Israel after it was over.

In 1982, when Menachem Begin formed a coalition with the religious parties, he agreed to enforce the restriction on El Al operating flights on Shabbat (source). That led to protests by secular Israelis opposed to religious coercion. In August 1982, El Al employees upset about the prohibition of El Al flying on Shabbat prevented orthodox and ultra-orthodox Jews from entering the airport terminal.

When El Al was privatized in 2004, it was estimated that was losing $50-70 million a year in revenue by not flying on Shabbat. However, the new management feared that flying on Shabbat would cause the Orthodox community - which makes up 20-30% of its passengers - to boycott it, so it kept the policy of not flying on Shabbat (source).

All that being said, to expect a government which depends on religious parties for its existence to require El Al to fly on Shabbat as a condition of receiving a bailout is unrealistic.
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Old Jul 1, 20, 4:19 pm
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Originally Posted by mikebg View Post
What too many people fail to understand is that it is NOT a "totally stupid business decision" at all, but a very sound one. If they flew on Shabbat they would instantly lose one of their biggest money making markets. NO chareidim would fly with them any more. NONE. They would ALL move to other (non-Jewish owned) airlines where there is no religious reason for them to keep Shabbat. They are not stupid at all. They have done their homewoirk and concluded that they would lose more money that way than by not flying on Shabbat.
That was true 20/30 yrs ago. Things evolve though. I envision in today's market that if El Al started flying on Shabbos,
the Haredi would huff and puff, and then click purchase on El Al 5 min later; In reality they don't actually want to fly another carrier if given the choice.
(All this is moot until the carrier starts flying again, but I'd really love to see them try this for a season or two and settle it once and for all, instead of all the internet bluster back and forth....)
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Old Jul 1, 20, 5:34 pm
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Originally Posted by joeyE View Post
That was true 20/30 yrs ago. Things evolve though. I envision in today's market that if El Al started flying on Shabbos,
the Haredi would huff and puff, and then click purchase on El Al 5 min later; In reality they don't actually want to fly another carrier if given the choice.
(All this is moot until the carrier starts flying again, but I'd really love to see them try this for a season or two and settle it once and for all, instead of all the internet bluster back and forth....)
Of course they'll click purchase on El Al. Just as they regularly buy tickets on a hundred other airlines that fly every day of the week. Or do people seriously think they'll just choose never to travel again?
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Old Jul 2, 20, 12:53 am
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Originally Posted by M60_to_LGA View Post
Of course they'll click purchase on El Al. Just as they regularly buy tickets on a hundred other airlines that fly every day of the week. Or do people seriously think they'll just choose never to travel again?
Of course they would travel, but they would choose to travel on an airline which does not violate the Shabbat commandment given to the Jewish people. Lufthansa, British Airways, KLM and others by definition cannot violate that commandment since these are not "Jewish" airlines.
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Old Jul 2, 20, 2:05 am
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Originally Posted by joeyE View Post
That was true 20/30 yrs ago. Things evolve though. I envision in today's market that if El Al started flying on Shabbos,
the Haredi would huff and puff, and then click purchase on El Al 5 min later; In reality they don't actually want to fly another carrier if given the choice.
(All this is moot until the carrier starts flying again, but I'd really love to see them try this for a season or two and settle it once and for all, instead of all the internet bluster back and forth....)
You are wrong. It has happened in the past. At one point you didn't see any chareidim on EL AL for at least 6 months, until they came to an agreement. Unlike many others who try to organise consumer boycotts, the chareidi world is highly disciplined and organised. If EL AL were openly flying on Shabbat nobody within that society would want to be seen as breaking the consensus either.
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Old Jul 2, 20, 2:51 am
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Originally Posted by RedChili View Post
Of course they would travel, but they would choose to travel on an airline which does not violate the Shabbat commandment given to the Jewish people. Lufthansa, British Airways, KLM and others by definition cannot violate that commandment since these are not "Jewish" airlines.
I think we all understand that this is a power struggle. Of course ultra orthodox Jews prefer that El Al don't fly on the sabbath. But they turn a blind eye to El Al dry and wet leases of their aircraft, to the airline's cargo operations, and of course to the activity of Sundor on the weekends. If El Al made a decision to fly seven days a week, the ultra orthodox would have to make a decision: boycott El Al and fly other airlines, or eat the frog. It's anyone's guess what they would decide. Personally, I think they're much more practical than we think, and they will fly whatever is more convenient. For example, we don't see them boycotting gas stations that are open on the weekend.

Shuly
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Old Jul 2, 20, 5:57 am
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There are creative solutions to this problem that El Al could come up with that would satisfy both the business need to fly 7 days a week and the haredi objection to a jewish company flying on shabbat.

They could work out code-shares with other airline partners so that the partner airline flies the route on Shabbat.

They could use wet-lease for shabbat flights (not the best solution ,as wet lease means it won't really be their product).

They could structure a parent company with two subsidiaries, one that takes the shabbat routes, one that flies the rest of the week. If you segregate the flight crews between the two subsidiaries, that would probably satisfy most objections.

They could sell the company to non-jewish ownership for shabbat - find some block of 15% ownership of the company, and legally structure it that all profits from shabbat flights go to that 15% block and then have that block sold off to non-jewish ownership every shabbat.

I'm sure there are some other creative solutions they could come up with that would satisfy the business need, and be good enough for 90% of haredim so they wouldn't boycott. There will always be some small percentage who won't accept any solution other than complete shutdown for shabbat, but I think the vast majority of consumers would accept a creative solution when the alternative is no Israeli airline at all (except arkia and israir).
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