El Al Israel Airlines Ltd, trading as El Al, is the flag carrier of Israel. Since its inaugural flight in 1948, the airline operates scheduled domestic and international services and cargo flights to from its main base in Ben Gurion International Airport. It is considered one of the world’s most secure airlines, thanks to its stringent security procedures, both on the ground and on board its aircraft.
In 1950, El Al acquired Universal Airways, which was owned by South African Zionists. A state-run domestic airline, Israel Inland Airlines, was founded in which El Al had a 50% stake. The first phase of the long-delayed privatization of the company commenced in 2003.