EL AL Israel Airlines, the nation's leading carrier, flies between its suburban Tel Aviv hub and more than 40 destinations in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and South Africa. (It serves some markets through code-sharing agreements, which allow carriers to sell tickets on one another's flights and thus extend their networks; code-sharing partners include American Airlines.) EL AL operates a fleet of about 35 Boeing aircraft, including four freighters. The company is known as a world leader in airline safety and security measures, such as antimissile systems on aircraft. Israel-based tour operator Knafaim Holdings owns a controlling stake in EL AL. The carrier, originally state-owned, began operations in 1948.
To increase its long-haul flight capabilities, EL AL is renewing its fleet, including buying a Boeing 747-400 and leasing two 737-800s. In May 2009, the carrier began flights to São Paulo, Brazil -- the carrier's first scheduled direct flight from Israel to South America.
EL AL also carries cargo, and schedules charter and reduced price flights through its subsidiary Sun D'Or International Airlines. EL AL's other subsidiaries include Tamam, kosher-food caterer; Catit, which operates a restaurant and commissary at Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv; Superstar Holidays, which markets EL AL's tour packages; and Borenstein Caterers, a US-based kosher-food caterer operating at New York's JFK Airport. – less