El Al ending flights to Cairo

El Al is discontinuing its weekly flights to Cairo.

In a letter published Sept. 16 in the daily Ma’ariv, El Al Airlines CEO Eliezer Shkedi said Israel’s official airline cannot afford the high security and operating costs for the nearly empty flights, according to news reports.

The airline declined comment. Irena Etinger, spokeswoman for Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, confirmed the letter.

The letter, addressed to Lieberman, did not say when the flights would end.

Under the 1979 peace accord, the two countries agreed to provide flights. Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said if El Al cancels its service, another airline must provide Cairo flights, according to the Associated Press. — jta