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Israeli carrier El Al moves to Q3 profit, revenue near pre-COVID level

israel el al plane airplane
An El Al Israel Airlines Boeing 737-900ER airplane takes off from the Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport as seen from Paracuellos del Jarama, outside Madrid, Spain, August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

El Al Israel Airlines (ELAL.TA) reported on Wednesday its second straight quarterly net profit, saying its revenue was almost on pace with pre-COVID pandemic levels.

Helped by a $38 million one-time gain from the partial sale of its frequent flier club, and despite a 33 per cent annual rise in fuel costs, Israel’s flag carrier said it earned $67 million in the third quarter, compared with a $136 million loss a year earlier. As a result, auditors removed a going concern warning.

Revenue rose to $626 million from $253 million – close to a level of $647 million in the third quarter of 2019. Its load factor was 87.4 per cent in the quarter, up from 70.3 per cent a year earlier.

The airline, which has seen its market share shrink with the entry of foreign carriers, said it would soon complete a new growth strategy.

El Al has also paid back a $45 million loan that it took from the government during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the quarter, Israeli insurer Phoenix (PHOE1.TA) bought 20 per cent of El Al’s frequent flier programme for $14 million.

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