|Quoting CO7e7 (Reply 4):|
Would you be kind enough and explain to me why they do this?
Quite simple, actually.
According to Jewish law and its modern interpretations, flying (among other things) is forbidden on Shabbat (Shabbat starts at sunset Friday and ends at sunset Saturday). Thus, observant Jews don't work, don't drive, don't operate any electronic devices, and don't fly on Shabbat. They will not fly on Shabbat, no matter which carrier it is.
was state owned and "flag carrier", it did not operate on Shabbat for three reasons, not necessarily in the following order:
1. Political lobbyists.
2. Respect for the Jewish tradition.
3. The fear to lose religious customers.
Why did they (or do they) fear losing the religious customers? Because some observant Jews are more comfortable flying a foreign carrier with a gentile crew, than flying on board an aircraft with the Star of David, and a Jewish crew that is known to break Jewish laws.
By the way, we all remember that the infamous Tower Air voluntarily refrained from operating on Shabbat (at least not to TLV
), and won many orthodox customers on their JFK
Now, the thing is this: the majority of us Israelis is on the secular side, meaning that we drive on Shabbat and we don't mind flying on Shabbat. TLV
is fully operational on Shabbat with all but LY
, and is quite busy, although as mentioned most people prefer to make the best of their weekends and fly on Thursday or Saturday night.
In order to meet the secular demand and to wisely utilize the equipment on Shabbat, LY
operated some of its flight under "S'un D'or". Most of these flights are during the summer, usually to high density tourist destinations. For example, they operated a flight to Phuket every Shabbat a few years ago, using LY
's 744s and 772.
It's a known secret that these are actually LY
flights, but since they brand them as Sun D'or (and occasionally cover the Star of David), this may be acceptable by some religious customers.
So all in all, it's just a matter of what is seen from the outside. From the religious point of view, there are no official LY
flights on Shabbat. From the economical one, some of the metal is efficiently utilized, and so everyone is satisfied...