El-Al New President David Hermesh:
"We Invest 350 Million Dollars in our Future"
by Gad Nahshon
"We had a bad year. But El-Al will invest 350 million dollars in its future," said David Hermesh, El-Al's new president who replaced Joel Feldschu.
Hermesh met the press in El-Al's New York City offices. He spoke frankly about the bad situation of the last year. El-Al suffered from the crisis in Israeli tourism. El-Al suffered from the ramification of the Intifada. North American tourism was a disappointment. The efforts of the office of Israel's commissioner of tourism in North America, Ariah Sommer, could not change the bleak picture. Hermesh explained that there was another reason for the bad year: "The price of fuel has been increased in two years from 70 cents a gallon to more than one dollar per gallon.
The last year, 2000, El-Al lost money. In 1999, for example, we had a profit of 25 million dollars." Hermesh said that El-Al has few new projects such as the agreement with American Airlines. Hermesh promised: "We will be the best company, the best airline from here to Tel Aviv." He also informed the guests that El-Al has many flights to the Far East through Aman, Jordan.
Like all the presidents of El-Al, Hermesh prays for privatization: "The issue of flying on Saturday should not be an issue at all. The only consideration for El-Al must be only an economic-marketing one." Hermesh explained that El-Al must do anything which will help it to compete with other airlines which fly to Israel.
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