Shimon Peres / Image courtesy Jeff Chiu, AP
The Associated Press reports "Israel's national airline has apologized to President Shimon Peres after attempting to charge him nearly $5,000 to bring an oxygen tank on an official trip to Canada."
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It was last week that Israeli media first picked on the story, saying Peres picked Air Canada over El Al for official state travel. That, according to the reports, came after El Al broke with past practice and tried to charge the 88-year-old president to bring an oxygen tank.
AP says it is mandatory in Israel for an oxygen tank and certain other medical equipment to be on board an aircraft whenever that nation's president or prime minister flies abroad.
This latest incident, however, marked the first time El Al attempted to pass along an oxygen-tank fee to one of Israel's top officials, according to AP.
As for El Al's apology today (Sunday), it came too late to make a difference. Peres had already booked his state trip to Canada on that nation's top carrier - Air Canada.
The move was a money-saver for Israel, as Air Canada did not charge Peres any fee for the oxygen tank, according to The Times of Israel.
Israeli officials confirmed those details to AP, but add Peres hopes the matter can now be put to rest. Peres arrived in Canada today (Sunday) to begin his official state visit.
Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY