After failing to reach a deal with El Al that would see the company operating separate flights for the ultra-Orthodox sector, rabbis are now calling on their public not to fly with the Israeli company at all, and prefer foreign airlines instead.
Ahead of Passover, the high season for visits in Israel and abroad among haredim, the rabbinic committee on transportation has published a statement urging the public to fly only with airlines that offer movie-free flights, or flights with designated areas that are movie-free.
They also included a list of the recommended airlines, and specified which of them also applies a modest dress code for its crew.
Dirty movies on El Al flights?
Rabbi Yitzhak Goldknopf, who is taking part in the efforts to introduce "kosher flights," told Ynet that negotiations with El Al were ongoing, and expressed hope that an agreement will be struck soon.
Although on El Al's major flights every passenger can turn off his personal TV screen, and on some of the other flights the company operates a "movie-free" zone, the rabbis ordered their followers to refrain from flying wit the Israeli airline.
Goldnkopf explained that "contrary to El Al, these companies screen only movies showing water and scenery, and not dirty movies."
El Al said in response that "there have been no negotiations regarding designated flights for haredim only. There was an attempt by one travel agent to fill an entire flight with haredi passengers, but it fell through.
"Had he succeeded, El Al might have been willing to look into the possibility of making certain adjustments, as it does when an organized group occupies a whole airplane."