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Problem for El Al’s Cargo Service

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The impending liquidation of El Al has created problems for the airline’s cargo service, the only branch still operating. One cargo jet was held up for debt payment at Frankfurt airport yesterday and another was delayed at Cairo airport. Both were released after the Israeli government assured El Al creditors that it assumes full responsibility for payments due.

The aircraft which landed a cargo of agricultural produce at Frankfurt was detained by the authorities against some $240,000 owed by El Al to the airport. Local officials said the plane would not usually be held for such a relatively small debt, except for the uncertainty of El Al’s future.

Similarly, an El Al cargo plane which brought cows from Amsterdam to Cairo was unable to take off because the European company that supplies its fuel demanded immediate payment in cash. The Transport Ministry in Jerusalem contacted the European head office of the fuel supplier to guarantee payment. Ministry officials said they were trying to make suitable arrangements at Amsterdam and New York to avoid delays when El Al planes land there today.

Meanwhile, El Al shareholders who voted to liquidate the company are expected to petition the district court this Sunday to appoint a receiver.

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