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El Al said it lost $9.7 million during fiscal 1984-85.

Israel’s airline said the loss was mostly attributable to a government ban against the airline flying on the Jewish Sabbath. El Al said that operating profits came to $12.9 million but that it wound up with a $9.7-million loss because of the ban and because of interest the firm paid on previous debts. The ban, enacted more than two years ago, prohibits El Al flights during Jewish holidays or the Sabbath, which begins on Friday afternoons and ends on Saturday nights. The government allows other airlines to use Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport without such restrictions.


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