El Al, the Israeli airline has announced that they will be buying their competitor, Arkia. Arkia is a smaller Israeli airline, mainly serving low cost destinations from Tel Aviv on the E195 and the A321NEO.
According to reports, “Under the proposed deal, Arkia would become a fully-owned subsidiary of El Al. In return, Arkia’s shareholders would get a 10%-14% stake in El Al through shares and options, the airline said in a regulatory filing.”
Also teased in this announcement is the ability for El Al to fly to Eilat, the beach destination in southern Israel. El Al never flew here due to the fact that Israir and Arkia controlled it, and El Al wouldn’t have a spot.
Likely, Arkia would not be fully acquired by El Al. They will probably run as a subsidiary, operated by El Al.
I’m excited to see this merger, and the ability for El Al to strengthen their standing after the touch pandemic they had.
Eh. Kind of. It wasn’t just Arkia, though. Like many airlines worldwide, Israel-based airlines have suffered tremendously during COVID. The Israeli government has been extremely hesitant to keep providing three different airlines (Arkia, El Al, and Israir) with government aid.
As a result, it surfaced in late 2021 that El Al would possibly purchase Arkia and Israir, which would help solidify Israel’s route network to be managed by one airline rather than three. This would save the government money as they have (reluctantly) agreed to support each airline for the duration of the Pandemic.
Per this news update, it appears that a portion of the proposed deal (Israir was omitted) has come to fruition.
Gee, I’m like a kid in a candy store! This is so exciting!
To add on, these airlines, including Arkia had to nearly suspend their entire schedule. They operate ok, but they are nowhere near the size of El Al, so it was hard for them to gain popularity with the market… especially with the last 2 years. As a result, anyone going to Israel took El Al, and Arkia kind of faded away for a bit. With El Al reviving them, they now have some hope.