Israeli flag-carrier El Al has named Avigal Soreq as its new chief executive, succeeding Gonen Usishkin who will step down at the end of January next year.

Soreq is the chief operating officer of Delek US Holdings, an energy firm based just south of Nashville, Tennessee, and specialising in assets associated with petroleum refining and logistics, as well as convenience stores in the southern USA.

He will take over as the head of El Al on 31 January 2021, the airline has disclosed.

Soreq served in the Israeli Air Force between 1996 and 2004, reaching the rank of major.

Avigal Soreq-c-Delek

Source: Delek US Holdings

Avigal Soreq will be tasked with leading the airline out of a financial mire

He has held several senior management positions at Delek US Holdings since joining the company in 2011, as well as serving as a member of the board of Alon USA Energy – a refiner, asphalt marketer and convenience store operator acquired by Delek.

Prior to his term at Delek, Soreq worked in business development for California-based solar energy specialist SunPower Corporation.

His appointment to lead El Al is part of a management shake-up implemented after the Israeli airline underwent a change of controlling shareholder in September.

Soreq will be tasked will stabilising El Al’s serious financial situation. The carrier has newly released financial results showing it made a pre-tax loss of $148 million for the third quarter, the summer peak season.