An airline born out of necessity
In 1948 two Jewish visionaries co-founded the company to bring back President Haim Weizmann stranded in Geneva with no means of getting home. A former US Air Force DC-4 was sought, a couple of couches were tied down into the cabin, a name was chosen from the Bible and voila- EL AL was born.
The airline’s history is abundant with covert airlifts carrying new immigrants to Israel from all over the world including Iraq, Iran, Yemen the USSR, and Ethiopia. The airline’s very existence remains a statement. The key thing to remember about this airline that it’s a point-to-point airline.
This means that its sole purpose is to connect Israel with the outside world and visa-versa. A six-day airline. Yes, you read correctly. A six-day airline, a Sunday to Thursday airline. Since its inception in 1948, EL AL has not operated a commercial flight on Shabbat, the Jewish rest day (from Friday to Saturday sunset).
All brands have a personality. Personifying those brands from experience of their product, branding and service paints a picture of a company.
What would EL AL be like if they were a person?
They would have no fake smiles. Beaming in confidence, a bit arrogant and cheeky. Direct as they come, hiding a heart of gold, ladling lots of care, and always dependable-like an old friend. A maternal figure, won’t ask you what you want but will tell you what you want out of genuine care and love.
My father flew EL AL in its prime during the 1970s and ’80s and fondly recalls the infectious Jewish mother stereotype which was embodied in the airline’s inflight service. Stern but loving and expressive he describes. This description falls in line with the typical description of Israelis which isn’t a coincidence.