El Al boss makes flying visit

The head of El Al, General Eliezer Shkedi, has said in London that the airline should not fly on Shabbat and should continue to serve kosher meals, despite the cost.

As "the civil wings of Israel and of the Jewish nation", it was not just "a regular airline," he declared.

General Shkedi became president and chief executive of El Al in 2009 after serving for five years as Commander of the Israeli Air Force. During his brief visit, he addressed meetings at the Central Synagogue and the London Jewish Cultural Centre and spoke at the Zionist Federation dinner.

Explaining the concept behind the airline's new blue-and-white Globally card for frequent flyers, he said: "It means we'll have for the first time in modern history a group of Jews under one ID."

The former fighter pilot also spoke about his combat experiences and Israel's efforts to avoid civilian casualties.

There was "no doubt that the Israeli Air Force and IDF is doing the best of the best from the moral point of view".

When he took up his air force command, counter-terrorist operations in urban areas were, on average, hitting one civilian for every terrorist. But after five years, the proportion had been reduced to one civilian to 24 terrorists.

Last updated: 6:50pm, March 29 2012