El Al Will Operate a Pilot flight as part of the ‘EL AL Extra Care Flight’ route to New York

We grabbed Ido Biger, Chief Information Officer & Chief Data Officer at EL AL Israel Airlines from his extremely busy schedule to tell us about El Al initiative to enhance safely and security onboard.

EL AL announced on launching a pilot as part of the EL AL Extra Care outline for New York on March 8. The pilot is part of the outline of returning to the flight routine while maintaining maximum passenger safety.

On the flight, an innovative testing process will be carried out, in collaboration with Sheba Medical Center and the Global Group, which aims to check that unvaccinated or recovering passengers who board the flight do not carry Covid-19 infectious viruses. Passengers who are not vaccinated / recovering will undergo a rapid antigen test before the inspection process.


Ido, tell us what is an ‘Extra Care Flight’ and how will it renew passenger’s confidence?

Extra Care Flight is a two protection layer flight that every passenger will go through. Either vaccinated + PCR (polymerase chain reaction – COVID19 test) or Antigen + PCR.

Our passengers will know that everyone on the flight has gone through those phases. We’re positive it will be a game changer for our customer’s confidence


How has technology played a role in this process?

The innovation hub of Shiba Tel-Hashomer, and its startup called Global, has developed a unique 15 minutes Antigen test which will be a preliminary phase in the check-in process.

Our ability to join forces with Shiba, via agile development of relevant web services, allowed us to be ready in such a short period of time.


Do you feel that El Al is more prepared today to respond to the changes in market needs?

Definitely, the global crisis struck us in a way that everything needed to be re-thought. The New EL AL won’t be the Old EL AL, just smaller. It will be a new, flexible, precise and sharp airline.


What will be El Al’s next steps in providing safety and security to passengers?

Anti-fraud in the context of COVID-19 medical documents forgery(by allowing our station managers all around the world, to utilize our technology to prevent forgery) and enhancing the global pass apps of IATA or equivalent, in order to allow us to participate in the global health standard.


Which technologies do you foresee being meaningful in El Al’s return to activity?

Agile development will be a huge part of each of our systems, currently it is just being used for our digital systems. ML will be used in some of our apps as well, especially on the commercial side.

One more technology that is being used now but will definitely be implemented in many more divisions is the RPA (robotic process automation). It will be a major part of our re-organization.


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