CAL Cargo Renamed to Challenge Airlines IL

LONDON – On June 13, it has been announced that the Israeli-based cargo carrier, CAL Cargo, not to be confused with China Airlines Cargo of Taiwan, has been renamed as part of a rebranding by its owning group.

What do renaming and rebranding mean…

Back in 2010, CAL Cargo, which at the time had been operating for 34 years since 1976, was acquired privately by its subsequent Chairman of the Board, Offer Gilboa, of which this acquisition would lay the early foundations of the begging of the Challenge Group, as well as expanding its flight operations to include daily flights to and from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Israel’s Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV).

As the carrier enters a new phase, its owning business, Challenge Group, is beginning to roll out a rebrand as well as a new harmonization strategy to modernize the group.

As part of this, it has decided to rebrand its Israeli cargo arm from CAL Cargo to Challenge Airlines IL, with the IL meaning Israel.

As well as this, Challenge Airlines IL will move into a new headquarters building that will be located in Tel Aviv, Israel.

CAL Cargo had started off operations using a Boeing 707 aircraft, which was then replaced by a Boeing 747-100 Freighter and subsequently four Boeing 747-200 Freighters that were operated until 2017.

Come 2016, the carrier began operating the Boeing 747-400 Freighter and still operates the Boeing 747-400 Freighter to this day even as part of the Challenge Group.

However, in line with the rebranding and harmonization strategy that Challenge Group is currently undergoing, the carrier will be bringing some new aircraft to its fleet.

At present, two Boeing 767-300’s are being converted to freighters which will soon be renewing Challenge Airline IL’s fleet.

Commenting on the rename and expansion, Challenge Group’s Chief Executive Officer and new Chief Executive Officer of Challenge Airlines IL, Yossi Shoukroun, has said:

“There is something quite poetic in an airline originally set up to fly agricultural produce, actually becoming the seed that grew to form the roots of our Challenge Group, today.”

“CAL Cargo has built up an excellent reputation over the past 46 years, as an expert in uplifting complex, outsize shipments. Hence its tagline ‘Your non-standard is our standard’.”

“We felt that the time is now right to reward CAL Cargo’s contribution, both by investing in renewing its fleet and facilities, as well as by firmly establishing it within our group.”

“We have therefore decided on a new brand name that reflects CAL Cargo’s untiring hands-on attitude and connects it to the other airline subsidiaries within our group.”

“Welcome, Challenge Airlines IL! With our new look and a new name, we will continue to build on our expertise and strive to offer our dedicated customers in Israel and abroad the best service in alignment with ever-changing market conditions.”


Overall it is great to see that the Challenge Group is wanting to significantly bolster its operations, not only with rebranding and a new harmonization strategy but also with fleet growth.

It will be great to see what the future holds for the group and if we will start to see any newer Boeing freighter aircraft joining any more of their various carriers.

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