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EL AL CEO Elyezer Shkedy Major General (res.) in Israel Air Force announced his decision to retire from his EL AL position, after four years at the helm of the airline.

EL AL CEO Elyezer Shkedy Major General (res.) in Israel Air Force announced his decision to retire from his EL AL position, after four years with the airline. Shkedy’s resignation will take effect as soon as a successor is named and an orderly transition has taken place.

EL AL Chairman of the Board Mr. Amikam Cohen stated that “The airline directorate regretfully accepted Shkedy’s announcement of his decision to end his term of office, adding that Shkedy’s special personality, management skills and contributions in every area of a very complex and challenging company are greatly appreciated.”
In a letter sent out this morning to EL AL people in Israel and worldwide, Shkedy wrote:

“I would like to inform you of my decision to step down from my post as EL AL CEO after four intensive years in one of the most challenging positions in the Israel economy.

“During these years I had the great honor of heading this unique company, with its exceptional significance to Israelis, Jews and those devoted to Israel around the world.

“I end my term of office with pride and a great sense of satisfaction.

“I will continue to serve as head of the airline with utmost devotion, as I have done until now, until a new CEO is appointed for EL AL and a proper transition is effected.”

In his letters to the Board of Directors and other airline people, Shkedy thanked the directors for their tremendous support and personally thanked the owners, the directorate, the management and other EL AL people for the years of cooperative work, during which their devotion and willingness to work professionally, responsibly and with all their heart and soul on a daily basis  helped the airline to attain significant achievements, despite the stormy period affecting the world aviation industry, which brought many airlines to a state of crisis.

In his letter, Shkedy noted some of EL AL's important achievements which were attained in cooperation with EL AL people during his tenure:

“Aircraft: We reduced the number of fleets, retired old aircraft, made significant changes in the internal configurations of the planes and, most importantly, purchased eight new advanced 737-900ER, which will lead to a renewal of over 20% of the airline’s aircraft.

“Fuel: We made significant changes in fuel cost hedging policy, enabling the airline to better deal with fluctuations in fuel prices worldwide and to improve our situation.  

“Security Expenditures: After an extended struggle, we came to an agreement that greatly increased the State’s share in security expenses. This brought the airline’s security situation in line with other airlines in the world and, without doubt, substantially improved the airline’s competitive edge.

“Commercial Policy: We changed the airline’s commercial policy, innovating and improving our work methods, analysis and planning for the future. We launched Economy Class Plus, upgraded the interactive website, increased our direct sales capability, launched an online site and developed a mobile application. All of these steps helped to streamline our pricing, sales and marketing and improved the company’s results.

“Computerization: We planned and implemented decisive procedures in intra-company areas and used advanced computer technology to improve our capabilities.

“Customers, Service and Flight Experience:  We positioned service awareness as the airline’s highest priority; we formulated a new service charter according to which we operate and we made our flight experience unique through innovation and originality. We are in a continuous process of improving our level of service and dealings with customers. These efforts have been widely commended.

“Corporate Culture: We have placed an emphasis on assessment and incentive processes among the airline’s people in many spheres and quickly reached over 1550 people in Israel and worldwide who are assessed, evaluated and compensated based on results. This means: excellence and a higher level of performance in the company.

I have no doubt that the CEO’s Fund for Excellence has increased the aspiration for excellence, both personally and as a group in all areas of company activity.

“EL AL – The Civilian Wings of the State of Israel and the Jewish nation:

“We disseminated Jewish and Israeli values in the airline’s activities, among EL AL people and also among world Jewry and Israel supporters –

- “Tours of Jerusalem for EL AL People – Through the CEO Fund for Excellence, over 3700 EL AL people from Israel and around the world participated in special tours of Jerusalem, the Western Wall tunnels, the City of David and Yad Vashem.

- “EL AL Torah Scroll for Israel Unity: We wrote a Torah scroll with the personal participation of members of Jewish organizations and communities around the world who wrote letters in the scroll. This proved to be a unifying mission for communities in Israel and around the world and aroused much excitement.

- “GlobaLY Card: We developed a GlobaLY Club card for hundreds of thousands of Jews and Israel supporters in the world, who are not Israeli citizens. It serves as a kind of identity card that encourages deep identification and business affinity with EL AL.

- “EL AL Ambassadors:  While abroad, members of EL AL's air and ground crews volunteer in Jewish communities and educational organizations around the world, presenting the face of the Beautiful Israel and its citizens. They serve as wonderful ambassadors for the airline and for the State of Israel.

- “Prizes: Recently we won many prizes and citations from objective bodies of note in Israel and in international aviation:

- “EL AL rated number 18 Travel & Leisure magazine – From hundreds of international airlines EL AL was chosen as one of the 20 leading airlines in world aviation. Travel & Leisure is considered one of the most prestigious magazines in the world in its field.

- “The Freddie Award: EL AL won first place in the area of innovation among loyalty clubs.

- “’Brand of Brands’ by World Superbrands:  EL AL was one of three Israeli companies (EL AL, Coca Cola and Teva) to receive this title for 2013.

- “Go e-Commerce 2013: EL AL was among five leading companies in Israel in the area of digital commerce.  

- “Favorite commercial in Israel (for the launch of the 737-900ER). This was the first time ever that an EL AL commercial took first place.

- “Facebook: We became one of five leading companies in social networks in Israel, with over 280,000 surfers giving us Likes.

“All of these bring great honor to EL AL and to all of us.

“Facing the future: We have prepared to compete, develop and grow in the modern world –

- “UP: We developed and launched a new, dynamic and special branch of activity that will enable us to compete in the Open Skies era, which is especially important as low-cost airlines gain strength.

- “Matmid Club – We have significantly increased the number of members in the club in Israel and worldwide, reaching 1.25 million members. Likewise, we are planning to re-launch the club in a new format with great growth potential.

“To my regret, the one area in which we have not moved ahead is in formulating a new collective agreement. EL AL must reduce its expenses for the good of its people and its passengers in the future, if the company wishes to continue to flourish, be competitive and cope in the aviation field with all its fluctuations and challenges.”

Chairman of the EL AL Board of Directors Amikam Cohen announced today: “The airline directorate regretfully accepts Shkedy’s announcement of his decision to conclude his term of office,” and added that Shkedy’s special personality, management skills and contributions in every area of a very complex and challenging company are greatly appreciated.”


Publish Date 03/12/2013