El Al spiked prices today in reaction to the cancellation of all foreign flights in or out of Israel.
The airline made headlines earlier today, saying El Al would provide flights to help thousands of people stranded at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, as well as at airports in the United States and Europe, when foreign airlines cancelled service in or out of Israel.
The foreign carriers suspended service to and from Israel after a rocket hit a home in Yehud, less than five kilometres from the nearest of Ben Gurion Airport’s runways. Globes Fiancial news website cited a report written by ISSTA Lines which indicated “vast hikes, of hundreds of dollars, between airfares yesterday, before the wave of cancellations, and this morning.
“For example, an El Al ticket to New York that yesterday cost $1,450, today jumped to $2,220; a difference of $770,” the website said.
Globes also quoted El Al CEO David Maimon, who denied that the airline had taken advantage of the current situation to bilk stranded customers. Maimon said the fundamentals of industry fare-setting were partly responsible for the price hike, and also the fact that many El Al pilots are currently serving in reserve duty with the Israel Air Force. The latter fact means the airline is running at a man
“Naturally, when there is extremely high demand, the cheaper tickets are snatched up, and what is left are the more expensive ones – and this is what happened. The last fare is always the most expensive. We did not change our pricing system, which was set six months ago.”
Some foreign airlines said they would help customers make alternative arrangements, and even to pay for hotels in Israel for the duration of the conflict. But the paper also said that several airlines have refused even this basic service.
Read more: The Jewish Press