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EL AL Airline & Israel celebrate 65 historic years


NEW YORK – April 9, 2013
– EL AL, Israel’s national airline, is paying homage to Israel’s 65th anniversary. Having both been established in 1948, EL AL and the State of Israel have since grown together, with the national airline serving as a bridge between Israel and the outside world. With great pride, EL AL remembers a few historic highlights that serve as a connection to the State of Israel as well as the opening of new routes to the United States. The following significant events helped shape the birth and rise of Israel’s national airline:

  • May 1948: Israel was established as an independent state.
  • September 1948: The first Israeli registered civil aircraft carries Israel’s first designated president, Chaim Weizmann, home from Geneva where he was temporarily stationed before Israel’s declaration as a state.
  • January 1949: EL AL assists in Operation Magic Carpet, airlifting 49,000 Yemenite’s to Israel.
  • May 1950: EL AL assists in Operation Ezra & Nehemiah (also known as Operation Ali Baba), airlifting over 120,000 Iraqi’s to Israel.
  • April 1951: Inaugurates regular scheduled service between Israel and New York.
  • April 1973: First airline to schedule nonstop service from Tel Aviv to JFK (previously called Idlewild Airport).
  • June 1984: First scheduled service from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles.
  • January 1990: EL AL assists in Operation Exodus, airlifting hundreds of thousands of Soviets to Israel.
  • May 1991: EL AL assists in Operation Solomon, the airlift of more than 15,000 Ethiopians from Addis Ababa to Israel. One 747 carried 1,087 passengers, a world record that still stands today.
  • June 1994: EL AL schedules first nonstop service between Newark International Airport and Tel Aviv.

Travelers interested in learning more about the historical and interesting rise of the national airline can read EL AL: Israel’s Flying Star, an illustrated book written by Marvin Goldman who has the largest museum-like collection of EL AL memorabilia.

EL AL also highlights some of Israel’s most prominent historical figures and sights in a series of cards, written in both English and Hebrew. Anyone interested in obtaining a complimentary set of cards can visit EL AL USA Facebook (EL AL Israel Airlines USA).

As an added bonus, now through Independence Day, April 16, EL AL USA Facebook (EL AL Israel Airlines USA) fans can share what Israel means to them for a chance to win one roundtrip ticket to Israel. In addition, EL AL USA Matmid frequent flyer members and EL AL USA Facebook fans can also save up to 35% on phone service in Israel with TalknSave! This exclusive offer is also valid through Israel Independence Day, April 16.

For more information about EL AL or to book a flight, visit www.elal.com or call EL AL at (800) 223-6700. Learn more about special promotions as well as activities, special events, and useful travel tips to Israel, plus more by joining the airline on Facebook (EL AL Israel Airlines USA) and Twitter (@ELALUSA).

Publish Date 11/04/2013