By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – Israel’s national carrier, ELAL Airlines, is moving its U.S. headquarters from New York City to Miami, a move consistent with other businesses relocating from New York to Florida.
The move, which ELAL announced in its first quarter financial statement, is expected to save the company half a million dollars.
Miami, a top destination in Florida for domestic and international travelers, is already a top destination for ELAL customers.
ELAL said it also plans to expand its operations in the U.S.
Moving its headquarters to Miami is expected to have minimal impact on flights, and save the company money in taxes and rent, the company said.
It’s also moving to a building owned by a controlling shareholder of ELAL, Kenny Rozenberg, Israel’s business daily, Globes reported.
ELAL’s board of directors and auditing committee and the Israeli Ministry of Finance, approved the move, the Globes said.
“Israel’s decision to move El Al airlines from New York City to South Florida is the latest example of Florida’s leadership in business expansion and international travel,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a statement. “We are proud to be the hub for international tourism.”
Tourism in Florida continued a record-breaking streak in the first quarter of this year. More than 1.3 million people visited Florida from overseas, an increase of nearly 169% from the first quarter of 2021.
In the first quarter of 2022, 36 million people visited the Sunshine State, a 39.6% increase from the same period last year, according to the state’s tourism agency, VISIT FLORIDA.
Travel by air significantly increased in the first quarter with total enplanements at 19 Florida airports increasing by 70.1% compared to Q1 2021, with the most travelers flying to Miami.
Miami, a top destination of ELAL passengers, had the largest number of enplaned passengers of 6.2 million, an increase of 112.2%.
“Florida’s tourism industry begins 2022 with incredible strength, proving that freedom first policies will always win, especially when combating the inept economic policies coming out of D.C.,” Gov. DeSantis said when announcing the state’s tourism record.