El Al pilots and passengers say goodbye (for now) to a great Canadian route whose cancellation remains officially unexplained

Some of the faces flying on El Al's final flight out of Canada. From left: Daniel Goldstein; El Al pilots Noam Lowenstein and Asaf Porat; and Faige Oppenheimer along with her daughter, Elisheva Janowski, and grandchild. (Photos courtesy of Ellin Bessner)

On Oct. 27, 2022, El Al flew its last direct flight from Canada for the foreseeable future. Leaving Toronto’s Pearson airport at 7 p.m., the direct red-eye was packed with passengers both optimistic about their travel plans and sad about El Al’s decision to cease operations in the Great White North. The milestone marked the end of over 50 years of direct flights between the two countries on Israel’s national carrier.

People flew with El Al for many reasons, but mostly because of its representation of the Jewish state. During the pandemic, a private American Jewish family bought a controlling interest in the airline after a massive government bailout. They got El Al back in the air—but not without chopping some longstanding routes.

The CJN Daily arrived at the terminal hours before takeoff to meet some of the passengers on this historic trip, including a young grandmother along with her daughter and two-week-old grandchild; an Israeli-Canadian couple heading to their native land to vote in the country’s upcoming elections; and staffers handing out candy, chocolates and souvenirs.

What we talked about:


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.