The first stage will start with regular cargo flights to Nagoya. El Al may start in early 2008 and regular passenger flights shortly afterwards
El Al received last week a formal approval to fly regular passenger and cargo flights to Japan.
The approval to operate the first ever regular flight was granted by Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, late last week responding to El Al CEO Haim Romano's request to name El Al the official airline on the route.
The first stage will start with regular cargo flights to Nagoya, and after El Al receives permission from the Japanese authorities to land at one of the airports near Tokyo, it will start passenger flights.
For now, Japanese aviation authorities only allow El Al to land at Osaka, a good distance from Tokyo.
Civilian aviation authority officials from the two countries are expected to meet soon to finalize the matter. Once the Japanese government approves these flights, officials from both countries will meet to work out the final details. It is understood launching cargo flights to NGO could eventually pave the way for El Al to start nonstop passenger flights to NRT.
Romano expressed El Al's feeling following the announcement and said that El Al may start the cargo flights as soon as it receives the permission from the Japanese authorities, probably early in 2008 and regular passenger flights with the company's new 777 jets shortly afterwards.