El Al is to operate Sun D'or's flights after the subsidiary loses its airline license on April 1, as part of an agreement with the Civil Aviation Authority to minimize the impact on travelers.
Sun D'or will be permitted to keep operating as a charter flight and tourism company.
It will lose its license as an airline because it didn't meet the CAA's terms. Namely, it lacks its own planes, pilots and flight crews, relying entirely on parent company El Al.
Sun D'or was set up so that El Al could have its cake and eat it too: It wanted to fly on Shabbat, but it didn't want to lose the business of religious customers.
For years Sun D'or flew on Shabbat in an arrangement that was accepted by both the religious public and by regulators. But it faced increasing criticism from both the CAA and European Union aviation authorities for its failure to comply with the regulations defining what an airline is or isn't.
The loss of the license comes just as the Passover travel season revs up.
Under the agreement, Sun D'or flights will be flown by El Al but listed under Sun D'or's code, 2U, rather than El Al's, LY.
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