March 21, 2011 / 3:20 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Israel's CAA revokes charter airline's licence

* Sun D’Or doesn’t meet requirements for certificate -CAA

* Ministry says Sun D’Or aircraft completely safe

(Adds transportation ministry comments)

By Ori Lewis

JERUSALEM, March 21 (Reuters) - Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on Monday ordered charter airline Sun D’Or to cease operations from April 1 because it failed to comply with regulations.

The CAA said the airline, a wholly owned subsidiary of flag carrier El Al (ELAL.TA), relied on its parent company to administer its operations which was unsatisfactory.

“Sun D’Or is currently operating without a full administrative and operational framework as required of every other airline and is relying fully on the infrastructure of parent company El Al,” the CAA statement said.

Israel’s transportation ministry said Sun D’Or was operating with an air operator certificate but that it did not meet the requirements to hold one, as it could not demonstrate it had control over its operations as required by law.

In answer to a query by Reuters, the ministry said Sun D’Or was an “empty shell used by El Al for commercial reasons” but it did not have its own pilots, cabin crew or training programme and all its operations are run by El Al.

Sun D’Or, based at Ben Gurion International Airport, flies mainly Israeli holidaymakers to destinations in Europe with its three Boeing (BA.N) 757-200 aircraft, the airline’s web site says.

The CAA said it told Sun D’Or over a year ago it failed to meet aviation standards.

The airline had “endeavoured to repair the faults but the CAA remained unconvinced,” the CAA said.

The CAA said European aviation officials had also raised concerns over the way Sun D’Or was being run.

The ministry added that the aircraft, which were maintained by El Al, were “completely safe” and there have never been any security or flight safety issues. It said the dispute was “purely administrative”.

The ministry said the airline would cease to operate as an independent entity but El Al could use the brand name Sun D’Or for commercial reasons in future.

El Al said it was trying to make alternative arrangements for passengers booked on flights that are to be cancelled. (Editing by David Holmes)

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