The first Israeli-operated Airbus flew from Tel Aviv to Paris Sunday morning, breaking a monopoly Boeing had held over the country's aviation industry.
Israir became the first Israeli carrier to move from an all-Boeing fleet in December when it signed with the European manufacturer for two A-320s for an estimated $150 million, the first of which arrived in the country over the weekend.
Under the deal, the company will lease two aircraft for three years until it receives the new planes in 2010. The second leased plane is expected to arrive in Israel next week and will help the company boost its traffic for the Pessah season.
While the 180-seater aircraft do not yet have Israir's logo on their tails, they are being used on Israir flights with the first flight out of Ben-Gurion having left Paris Sunday morning.
The company said six of its pilots are being trained on Airbus systems in France this week and another 12 will do so in the coming weeks.
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