Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
EL AL could launch its first Saturday services in June after the latest stage in its privatisation. The Israeli national airline has been banned from flying on Saturdays (the Jewish Sabbath) since 1982, when the government exercised a clause in the law to ban them. The state currently owns an 81% shareholding in El Al but in early June, the latest stage of the airline's privatisation, could see 125 million shares made available to private investors. Companies have already signed options to acquire these shares and subject to all the options being exercised, the ownership structure of the airline will change from being government controlled to a mixed company, leaving the state with just a (49.5%) shareholding. The majority of the shares will be owned by Knafaim-Arkia Holdings, which acquired a 4.99% share in El Al last year, increasing its stake in the airline to 23%. Although the plans for El Al to overturn the government block and launch Saturday services will anger many, it is viewed as an essential tool for the airline to become more competitive in international markets.