El Al has begun talks with the major shareholder of Israeli carrier Israir, holding company IDB, in a bid to acquire the rival airline.
The move is in response to the April grounding of El Al's charter subsidiary Sundor.
However, any purchase would be subject to approval by Israel's anti-trust authorities.
Israir operates flights to European destinations and regular flights from central Israel to the resort of Eilat, using a fleet of Airbus A320s, ATR 42-320s. It has two additional ATR-72-500s on order.
Both airlines declined to comment.