To get around Sabbath travel restrictions and service certain European destinations, Sun d’Or was established on the 1st of October 1977 (originally as El Al Charter Services), however the separation of El Al and its subsidiary Sun d’Or have become muddied. The growing intertwining of the two airlines has caused the Israeli Civil Aviation Authority to revoke the operating license of Sun d’Or.
The revocation of the Sun d’Or operating license follows complaints from multiple European aviation authorities that Sun d’Or was not acting an airline independent of El Al. These complaints include Sun d’Or flights operating with not only El Al aircraft, but with El Al crew as well.
Ultimately the Israeli Civil Aviation Authority cited a lack of compliance with Israeli management standard, as well as the lack of self owned aircraft and crew for the reasons they have chosen to revoke the Sun d’Or operating license. The airline’s operating license will be revoked effective April 1 2011.
El Al is now faced with a tough decision. The airline must choose to either give up a large portion of its market share to competing airlines by choosing to not fly on the Sabbath, or they must choose to fly under their own name on the Sabbath and risk angering a highly influential segment of their home market passengers.
El Al is in a tough position and time is running out on the choices they have to make.