Amos Shapira, President of EL AL "We Offer The Better Product"

by Gad Nahshon

"We offer a better product," said EL AL's new charming business like President Amos Shapira. He was a guest of EL AL office in North American and participated in a press conference, recently, which took place in New York City. He outlines his ideas of making EL AL a profitable company but alerted the media that the traffic to Israel decreased by 25%. He insisted that EL AL is the best company among the 40 who fly to Israel. He also argued that EL AL's success has to do with the fact that the passenger feels at home inside EL AL's planes. He also said that passengers pointed out that they like to fly EL AL because of the service and not because of security reasons.

He declined to detail the issue of security and safety and said: "Our pilots also resent the fact that we discuss this issue in public... perhaps this is some kind of superstition..." Shapira said that his son is visiting South America : "I wish he will fly only EL AL..." As to the issue of privatization, Shapira pointed out: "We are a business company. Often in Israel people tend to forget it. They want us to be a non-profit company." He said that the profit is the first object, the goal. But often EL AL must fly to unprofitably destinations (national missions) and that EL AL was the only functioning company during the 1991's crisis with Iraq. Shapira, a distinguished professional, left a very good impression on the audience. It will be easier for him to fulfill his goals in 2003 when the privatization process, hopefully, will be ended. Shapira also believes that EL AL should increase the Zionist-Jewish elements inside the plane: "Passengers should feel like they are at home," he remarked. As to the process of security in the airport in EL AL he said: "We try the best. Not to harass our passengers.

My wife was born in Iraq and in America. She was searched time and again. That's the reality." This past summer, Amos Shapira took over the reins of Israel's national airline. Shapira, who is based at EL AL's head office in Israel, oversees the activities and development of Israel's national airline which services more than 50 destinations worldwide from Tel Aviv. He comes to EL AL with extensive managerial and international business expertise.

Prior to his EL AL appointment, Shapira served as managing director of the American owned company Hogla-Kimberly, Ltd., a subsidiary of Kimberly Clark, where he successfully doubled activity and increased its market share in all of its product categories. Shapira, 53 hold a Master's degree in Industrial Management from the Technion in Haifa. He also serves as a chairperson on the board of judges in the EFFIE competition for effective marketing. EL AL, Israel's national airline, has more than twice the number of weekly nonstop flights to Israel from the United States than any other airlines. Worldwide, EL AL flies to more than 50 destinations from Tel Aviv and is smoke-free. For reservations, call EL AL at (800) 223-6700 or (212) 768-9200 or your travel agent. Or visit EL AL at EL AL. It's not just an airline. It's Israel.

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