El Al Israel Airlines has confirmed it will discontinue its UP budget brand as the company revises its European market business to implement a new economy fare-structure system on European El Al mainline flights. The new product sale to Europe will launch April 30 on departing flights from Oct. 15.

In addition, the Israeli flag carrier named former pilot and current VP-commercial Gonen Usishkin as its new CEO, replacing David Maimon who announced in November he would step down after four years in the job, Reuters reported, adding that Usishkin will take up his new position in the coming weeks following a transition period.

UP began operations in March 2014 with four Boeing 737-800s on flights from Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport to Berlin Schoenefeld (Germany), Prague (Czech Republic), Larnaca (Cyprus), Budapest (Hungary) and Kiev Boryspil (Ukraine).

El Al said that by 2019 the former UP 737-800s cabins will be upgraded with modernized business and economy seats; the onboard Wi-Fi system will also be improved.

Kurt Hofmann hofmann.aviation@netway.at