El Al Israel Airlines has invited consultancies to pitch to brand its forthcoming “business/ first” class as the airline attempts to win back high-spending clients and steady its profits slide.
El Al refuses to name the consultancies involved, but Fitch confirms it is on the pitch list.
The job, to be completed by the end of the year, will see branding created for an expanded business class cabin in El Al’s wide-bodied fleet (777 and 747-400 aircraft), including a name and logo.
“We presented last week for the job, which is about creating a brand and delivering it through all lines of communication. This [project] is working towards a November launch and is about creating a business/ first class to compete with El Al’s key competitors; bringing all of the Israeli business people back to El Al,” says Fitch managing director John Mathers.
Passengers in business/ first will benefit from increased spacing between seats, improved cabin services and a range of technical services.
The airline’s fortunes, along with Israel’s economy, has taken a downturn following months of regional unrest. Prior to the latest outbreak of violence, before last autumn, El Al was overbooked and ordering new planes. Now it is cancelling routes, selling jets and laying off many employees.
The company is reported to be seeking $80m (£57m) from the Israeli government to cover the costs of cutting its staff numbers. It lost $50m (£35m) in the first quarter of this year, over 30 per cent more than in the first quarter of 2000.