El Al introduces 737 freighter as conflict disrupts PAX flights

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Israeli airline El Al is increasing its focus on cargo activity as it anticipates that the negative impact of the Israel-Gaza conflict is likely to persist into the first quarter of 2024.

The flag-carrier stated that there has been a decline in demand for future flights as a result of the month-old conflict.

El Al said it has increased its focus on both belly cargo and cargo shipments using dedicated freighter aircraft – as part of its response to operational disruption.

Chief executive Dina Ben Tal Ganancia said the airline introduced a Boeing 737-800 converted freighter into service at the end of October.

The aircraft (4X-EKZ) was originally delivered as a passenger jet to Italian carrier Neos in 2002. El Al said it is being deployed on routes to European destinations.

Ganancia said El Al is also adapting a widebody aircraft for cargo services.

The airline disclosed the update after its board held a meeting on November 9 to discuss the situation.

El Al stated that it has been adjusting its schedules, changing flight routes in accordance with advice from security authorities, halting services to seasonal destinations, and postponing the opening of new routes.

El Al secured regulatory approval to operate dedicated freighters from the Israeli civil aviation authority in June.

El Al gets clearance to operate freighters

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