Spectacular Air Show Dedicated to Soldiers and Their Families
New York, NY - May 5, 2011 - In honor of Israel Independence Day, EL AL Israel Airlines will proudly commemorate the 63rd anniversary of Israel's founding next Tuesday (May 10th) with a memorable annual air show. The story of EL AL and Israel are deeply intertwined as the carrier also began operations 63 years ago as a bridge between the country and the outside world.
This year, EL AL dedicates the air show to Gilad Shalit and Ron Arad (both captured and missing Israeli soldiers), as well as to all the fallen Israeli soldiers, those missing in action, and their families. Special messages will be painted on to each of the four EL AL aircraft that will be utilized in the show which are currently named Jerusalem, Sderot, Daliat al Carmel, and Deganiya. The four messages are: "We are all with the families of Israel's fallen soldiers, We are all with Gilad Shalit, We are all with Ron Arad, and We are all with the families of the captured and missing soldiers."
The aircraft will travel south along the Mediterranean Coast from Nahariya to Ashdod (flying at a height of 1,000 feet) led by a 747-400 jumbo under the command of EL AL fleet manager, Captain Tal Becker.
From its humble beginnings in 1948, EL AL has played an integral role in the history of the State of Israel. As the national airline, EL AL continues to adhere to the same objectives as the day it was chartered - assisting those in need, reuniting thousands of families, and providing immigrants with a chance for a new life in Israel. Most importantly, throughout its history, EL AL is the only carrier to maintain a regular air link with Israel at all times.
In September of 1948, the new State of Israel wanted to bring President Haim Weizman home from Geneva. Improvising, an Israeli Air Force aircraft was converted to a civilian plane, the pilots and in-flight crew were also recruited from the Israeli Air Force and the food was provided by a nearby Kosher restaurant. Since the airline needed a name, it was decided to call it "EL AL," which was taken from the book of the Hebrew prophet Hosea, meaning "to the skies."
Since that historic first flight, EL AL has been the first visible symbol of freedom for thousands of immigrants wanting to live in Israel. For more than 60 years, EL AL has been involved in many life saving missions and has offered assistance to countries and individuals in distress. Continuing its tradition of helping those in need, EL AL has made a pledge to the government of Israel that at any time of the day or night, EL AL will organize and operate a flight to carry immigrants to Israel from anyplace within 12 hours.
The same pioneer spirit and drive which made Israel a reality in 1948 resulted in EL AL becoming what is today, an innovative international airline that has achieved the highest levels of quality, efficiency and excellence within the aviation industry. EL AL is an ongoing story that defines what a national airline is meant to be.
For more information about EL AL, please visit the airline's recently redesigned website, www.elal.com, or call 800-223-6700. More information can also be found on EL AL's blog, Skywords with EL AL, as well as on Facebook (EL AL Israel Airlines USA) and Twitter (@ELALUSA).