The El Al cargo aircraft is the first in a series of flights that will take medical equipment from Istanbul to New York. For the first time in 10 years, an El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) plane landed in Turkey today.
The El Al cargo aircraft is the first in a series of flights that will take medical equipment from Istanbul to New York. With almost no commercial passenger flights at the moment due to the Covid-19 crisis, El Al is using Dreamliner aircraft for the cargo flights.
El Al used to operate scheduled passenger flights between Tel Aviv and Istanbul, which were halted in 2010 after relations between Israel and Turkey soured following the Gaza flotilla incident.
The granting of a permit to El Al to operate cargo flights to and from Istanbul came as a surprise after Turkey refused Israir Airlines and Tourism Ltd. permission to land in Istanbul in March with Israeli security staff on board to fly home Israeli students stranded in Turkey.
Before the coronavirus crisis, Turkish Airlines operated 10 daily passenger flights between Tel Aviv and Istanbul. Most of the passengers were Israelis using the carrier for connection flights to elsewhere in the world. Turkish carrier Pegasus also operated many daily flights between Istanbul and Tel Aviv.