El Al Airlines Appoints Ex-combat Pilot Gonen Usishkin as CEO

Usishkin served in the Israel Air Force before during El Al as a pilot in 2004, where he flew 747s before moving into management

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner arriving in Tel Aviv, August 2018. New CEO Gonen Usishkin was instrumental in the purchase of the jets.

Ex-Israel Air Force combat pilot Gonen Usishkin was named as El Al Israel Airlines’ new CEO on Monday.

Currently a vice president at the airline, Usishkin will take the reins in the coming weeks after a transition period with outgoing CEO David Maimon.

Maimon resigned last November after 13 years at the airline, the last four at its helm.

Usishkin joined El Al in 2004 and spent six years flying 747-200 and 747-400 aircraft, as well as fulfilling a number of management roles, including head of commercial planning. From 2014, he was head of strategy and business development. Together with others, Usishkin led a massive acquisition process to upgrade the airline’s appeal, including the purchase of 16 Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets.

Usishkin, born in 1967, has an MBA and bachelor’s degree in economics and management, both from Tel Aviv University.