El Al Reports High Quarterly Earning Putting It on Pace With Pre-covid Revenue

The Israeli airline which was dealing with an economic crisis during the pandemic and received a government loan appears to have finally returned to fiscal health

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Israeli flag carrier El Al's airliner carrying lands at Abu Dhabi International Airport in August 2020.
Israeli flag carrier El Al's airliner carrying lands at Abu Dhabi International Airport in August 2020.Credit: WAM/ REUTERS

El Al Israel Airlines reported on Wednesday its second straight quarterly net profit, saying its revenue was almost on pace with pre-COVID pandemic levels.

Helped by a $38 million one-time gain from the partial sale of its frequent flier club, and despite a 33 percent annual rise in fuel costs, Israel's flag carrier said it earned $67 million in the third quarter, compared with a $136 million loss a year earlier. As a result, auditors removed a going concern warning.

Revenue rose to $626 million from $253 million—close to a level of $647 million in the third quarter of 2019. Its load factor was 87.4 percent in the quarter, up from 70.3 percent a year earlier.

The airline, which has seen its market share shrink with the entry of foreign carriers, said it would soon complete a new growth strategy.

El Al has also paid back a $45 million loan that it took from the government during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the quarter, Israeli insurer Phoenix bought 20 percent of El Al's frequent flier program for $14 million.

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