Starting in March, El Al Israel Airlines will operate 5 Boeing 737 airplanes on their low-cost flights. Budapest, Berlin and Prague will be among the destinations, and possibly Cyprus and Greece. Popular business routes, such as Frankfurt and London, will not be replaced with low-cost flights. El Al’s campaign is in response to the rising competition within the framework of “Open Skies” policy that is being promoted by the Ministry of Transport.
If all goes according to plan, regular service to these destinations will be halted as early as Passover, and all ticket sales will be carried out within the low-cost program. The low-cost fare structure is built on a base ticket price, with charges for extras, such as seating upgrades, luggage, check-in, etc.
Unlike other low-cost carriers, who sell tickets exclusively online, El Al will allow low-cost tickets to be sold by travel agents as well. El Al will also be subject to Israel airline regulations (with regards to cancelling tickets or compensation for delays), unlike other low-cost carriers who do not have representation in Israel.
El Al’s previous attempt to sell cheap fares through a separate department (Basic) on its flights to Europe failed. Three years ago, El Al offered discount fares that did not include check-in or meals. Three months after launching the deals, El Al decided to end it, as it was not worthwhile financially.
Read more at GLOBES.