El Al has secured regulatory approval to operate dedicated freighters from the Israeli civil aviation authority, as it awaits its first converted aircraft.

The extension to its commercial licence gives the airline the right to transport freight using all-cargo aircraft until 5 June next year.

El Al had disclosed last October that the regulator was intending to cancel the airline’s freighter authorisation because it did not have the minimum of two cargo aircraft in its fleet.

With a planned amendment to the regulation reducing this minimum requirement to a single aircraft, El Al opted to acquire a Boeing 737-800 converted freighter.

The airline recently stated that the introduction of this freighter, through a dry-lease arrangement, has been held up for a few months by validation procedures.

But it states that it obtained an amendment to its commercial licence from the civil aviation authority on 7 June granting the carrier the all-cargo aircraft rights.

“[El Al] is continuing the validation procedure so that, upon completion, it will be able to provide cargo transportation services using cargo aircraft on a regular basis,” it adds.

El Al 737-800-c-Aero Icarus Creative Commons

Source: Aero Icarus/Creative Commons

El Al already operates 737-800s in passenger configuration