Cost of El Al Shabbat debacle: NIS 1.7 million

Beyond compensation for passengers, it seems company preferred to pay significant price to avert haredi boycott.

Mordechai Sones,

El Al Board of Directors Chairman Eli Dapas
El Al Board of Directors Chairman Eli Dapas
Flash 90

Last week's Shabbat flight debacle will cost El Al a sum of $450,000, equivalent to about NIS 1.7 million, according to News 2 calculations.

The company today issued a notice of clarification that included free tickets to a destination in Europe for the 400 passengers.

According to the calculation, the two Friday flights from Israel to Athens to pick up non-Sabbath-observant travelers cost El Al about $150,000 and another $60,000 for hosting religious passengers over the Sabbath.

The company lost another $100,000 on the special plane that brought the Shabbat-observant passengers back from Greece on Saturday night.

In addition, after the heavy threats of a haredi boycott that the company preferred to avoid, El Al decided to compensate passengers with a ticket to Europe, costing another $140,000.