FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Offer Gat, CEO, El Al Israel Airlines, North And Central America

Mar 1, 2008
2008 / March 2008

Global Traveler: Tell us about your service upgrades at El Al.

Offer Gat: In the summer of 2007, El Al received two new Boeing 777 aircraft that are equipped with flatbed seats in first and Platinum Business class. In addition, all the premiumclass seats on our existing 747-400 and 777 aircraft are currently being replaced with flatbeds, representing a $20-million investment.

This past September, El Al opened new, luxurious first- and businessclass lounges at New York JFK Airport. There’s a state-of-the-art business center and shower facilities. This is all part of a process of upgrading El Al services and the product we provide to all our customers, regardless of the class of service in which they travel.

Since El Al became a private airline in 2004, a new way of thinking developed and a five-year plan was established. Commercially, the only way for El Al to prosper is to be the best airline flying to Israel. Improvements in all levels of service, comfort, the food, the frequency of service and the flight schedule became a priority.

A more user-friendly frequent flyer club, an increase in the number of airline partnerships and an effort to expand the global network are just some of the many achievements El Al has accomplished in the past threeplus years. Our president, Haim Romano, has been personally involved in every step of these massive changes. The positive financial results have so far proven the enormous efforts being made make a difference.

Our reservations call center has been centralized at our head office in Israel, which is beneficial to our passengers because we are able to provide service around the clock, yearround. All the reservation agents are fluent in English, as are most Israelis. In the United States, we have established a mini call center in New York that is dedicated to serving our premium-class passengers and our most frequent flyers. We feel that this additional personalized service is necessary for our most loyal and exclusive passengers in the U.S. market.

GT: In our annual GT Tested Awards, our readers voted El Al the “Best Airline for Security.” You have always been known for attention to security. How do you achieve such high standards?

OG: What I am allowed to say about our security is naturally quite limited. However, El Al maintains the highest level of security and safety at all times. After the tragic events of 9/11, when the FAA set new and much more stringent security requirements, El Al was the first airline allowed to fly because we met those new strict guidelines. The cost of our security is approximately $100 million per year. El Al maintains very close relations with all security agencies, especially with the TSA.

GT: Tell us about your career in aviation and travel.

OG: For 10 years, I was managing director of ISSTA, a very large Israeli company that specializes in student travel. I was also CEO of Tzabar, a domestic tour operator, and my most recent position for seven years was as CEO of Diesenhaus, the largest travel group in Israel. Prior to joining El Al, I was out of the travel industry for two years. During that time, I took a diving course, a parachuting course, started to ski, became a devoted bicycle rider and was involved in a variety of investments.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
August 2020
Aug 7, 2020

Aviation Industry Faces Airspace Issues

All airplane flights begin on the ground. An airport is the starting point, but airspace issues continue to expand from the terrestrial to the aerial. Altitude is no barrier when countries claim sovereignty from the Earth to beyond the stratosphere.

What To Expect When Flying: oneworld Debuts Information Portal

Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.

Destinations / Europe
Aug 7, 2020

Explore Sofia, Bulgaria, with the Family

Flanked by the ski resort-studded Balkan Mountains and situated directly downwind from the fragrant pine forests of the Vitosha mountain, Sofia’s gorgeous landscape and strategic location between Asia and Europe put it at a crossroads where business and pleasure intermingle effortlessly. In recent years Bulgaria’s capital city has ranked as one of the top 10 best places in the world for startup businesses, and the onslaught of new tax exemptions for businesses looking to invest in the country make it an attractive option for many corporations to begin operations within the city.

Daily
Aug 7, 2020

Give Back with Captain Cook Cruises

Captain Cook Cruises, also known as Fiji’s cruise line, reopened Tivua Island for day cruises. The small-ship cruise company also launched a new reef sustainability initiative, Buy A Coral - Build A Reef Coral Rejuvenation Program.

The Perfect Fit

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.

Daily
Aug 6, 2020

Leovard Skincare Offers a Natural Way to Nourish Skin

Leovard skincare, formulated by Dr. Sheg Aranmolate, MD, uses natural ingredients to nourish skin, calm irritation, decrease wrinkles, hydrate and soothe — all while sanitizing skin of bacteria. Leovard’s 06 sanitizer is among a line a like-minded products, designed to ease the stress of environmental damage on our skin while cleansing.

eFlyer Deals
Aug 5, 2020

Anse Chastanet in Saint Lucia Offers Sale

Looking for an escape? Anse Chastanet in Saint Lucia is a one-of-a-kind, 49-room resort with views of the Pitons. The property’s Escape Sale offers travelers who book four nights or more before Aug. 31 the chance to save 35 percent on the entire stay. Book by Aug. 31, but the sale is valid for travel through Dec. 19. Rates start at $513 per night.

Peace of Mind

IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.

eFlyer Deals
Aug 5, 2020

Hoppy Days are Here Again at Asheville’s Lion and the Rose

Beer lovers in particular will rejoice with this new offer from The Lion and the Rose Bed and Breakfast in Asheville, North Carolina, and it all starts with a complimentary, icy cold pint upon arrival.