Regulator puts loading curbs on 737 jets converted to freighters by Israel Aerospace

FILE PHOTO: The logo of state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), the country's biggest defence contractor, is seen at their offices next to Ben Gurion International airport, near Or Yehuda, Israel February 27, 2017. Picture taken February 27, 2017. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

(Reuters) - Israel's aviation regulator has ordered airlines with Boeing Co BA.N 737 jets converted to freighters by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) to comply with loading restrictions and use additional straps when needed before they can resume flying.

Its directive, published as an emergency airworthiness directive on the European Union Aviation Safety Agency website on Thursday, relates to 47 cargo planes that were grounded this week after IAI found an “apparent irregularity” in the production process of a rigid barrier that separates freight from the cockpit.

Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd QAN.AX operates four of the planes, while India's SpiceJet Ltd SPJT.NS flies three. The other operators have not been identified publicly.

Reporting by Jamie Freed; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman