APEX in Profile: Yoram Elgrabli

APEX in Profile

Image: Marcelo Cáceres

Yoram Elgrabli

Managing Director, North and Central America
El Al Israel Airlines

Born and raised in Israel, and a former tank commander in the Israel Defense Forces, Yoram has more than 25 years’ tenure with El Al. As a seasoned team member with experience in finance, sales and operations, he also brings to this position strong leadership skills and extensive global expertise in the aviation industry.

apex-experience-6-5-qa-elgrabliFAST FACTS
Location: JFK/EWR
Favorite Airport: TLV
Favorite Aircraft: B787
Paper or electronic boarding pass? Electronic

Did you choose the airline industry or did it choose you?
I chose the airline industry, because aviation and travel have always fascinated me. Its rapid growth and evolution, as well as the opportunity to be part of such a dynamic company as the national airline of Israel captured my interest. It is also exciting to work in an industry that brings pleasure to so many people around the world, as we are able to connect families and friends in Israel with their loved ones, as well as bring tourists to such an extraordinary country.

What is El Al’s strategy in North and Central America? How is it different from elsewhere?

North and Central America are vibrant and diverse continents, so our efforts are focused on solidifying this market as the largest and most important outside of Israel. With the enormous demand for travel between this region and Israel, we are uniquely situated for growth.

As the first of 15 new Boeing Dreamliner’s arrive next year, these state-of-the-art aircraft will complement our signature fleet and help us expand to new destinations in the region. We are also planning to dramatically increase the number of Matmid Frequent Flyer members so more El Al passengers can take advantage of the many club benefits, including bonus tickets, upgrades, exclusive promotions, and more.

What do you think is the most overlooked aspect of the passenger experience?
Service is, more often than not, taken for granted by passengers. El Al strives to consistently offer the best possible service, so that from the moment El Al passengers board the aircraft, they will experience warm Israeli hospitality and flight attendants who make everyone feel at home.

If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you love to be doing?
I’ve always had a passion for food, and in a parallel universe, I would be a chef specializing in Mediterranean and French-inspired cuisine. Lucky for me, I can get my “fix” through El Al’s “Taste of the World” rotating menu (which offers passengers themed dishes from different cities on our route map) in business class on flights from Israel. I’m proud to say that El Al puts forth a remarkable amount of attention and detail into the in-flight cuisine and offers a rich, varied wine list based entirely on boutique Israeli wineries.

“In the travel industry, you never know when and where you may be headed next.”

What are your ritual travel habits?
I always have a suitcase packed and ready for my next trip. In the travel industry, you never know when and where you may be headed next. It is this excitement and exploration mentality that makes me love what I do.

What’s the one item you can’t travel without?
My iPhone.

The achievement you’re most proud of?
Personally, I’m most proud of bringing my three wonderful children into this world and watching them grow. Professionally, I take pride in the success in my most recent El Al position in France. We were able to increase service between Israel and France to four daily nonstop flights, a goal that previously did not seem possible.

First travel memory?
My most notable memory was when I traveled with my wife to Miami to join a cruise to the Caribbean. Now that we live in the States, we can continue to explore this wonderful region together as a family.

Luckiest moment of your life?
When I met my beautiful wife. I consider myself lucky every day!

This article was originally published in the 6.5 December/January issue of APEX Experience magazine.