(HAARETZ) -- After Israir Airlines and Tourism was purchased in January by a group that includes BGI Investments, controlled by Shalom Haim and supermarket magnate Rami Levy, it was clear that its days operating flights on the Jewish Sabbath were numbered.
Israir is now removing all the flights scheduled to depart on the next few Friday nights and Saturdays from its reservations website, both those to Eilat and to overseas destinations. Israir flights to Eilat will begin again only after Shabbat ends on Saturday night. Before this change, 10 percent of the airlines’ flights were on Shabbat.
Arkia Israeli Airlines will now be the only airline that flies domestically on Shabbat. Arkia will also be the only Israeli airline that will continue operating flights to and from Israel on Shabbat, along with a number of foreign airlines. El Al stopped operating flights on Friday nights and Saturdays in the late 1980s. After it was bought last year by Eli Rozenberg, who is religious, it stopped the operations of its Sun d’Or subsidiary on Shabbat as well. Sun d’Or flies mainly to vacation spots.
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