israir 88 298.
(photo credit: Courtesy photo)
Israir Airlines announced on Sunday that it has acquired two new Airbus A320 jet
planes. The planes are capable of flying for up to six hours, allowing the
company to extend its services to more distant locations.
The first plane
arrived a few months ago and the second will arrive this week.
In a phone
conversation from the aircrafts’ assembly plant in Toulouse, France, Israir CEO
Ofer Green said the company paid $90 million for the two planes and that a third
one was on order and scheduled to arrive next June.
“The planes are brand
new; we are literally taking the plastic covers off the seats,” Green said. “I
am here to collect the new plane and on Tuesday it will be making its maiden
voyage under Israeli ownership, with an Israir crew.
“The purchase of the
new plane takes us a big step forward as an airline. With the added range that
the Airbus A320s afford us, we can fly further than we could up until now and
thus extend our services to places like Scandinavia, Ireland and
Until recently Israir operated with Boeing 767-300s and ATR
turboprop aircraft flying between Tel Aviv, Eilat and Haifa and to European
destinations such as London, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Berlin and
Green said that the new plane would make its first commercial
flight on Thursday, but that it was too early to tell which new destinations the
company would be opening up due to the purchase.
“The new planes will
enable us to offer our customers flight experiences on a level we couldn’t offer
up until now, in terms of comfort, safety and finishing.
The purchase is
a stepping stone in a series of moves aiming to turn the company into an
industry leader,” Green said.
Kiran Rao, Airbus executive vice president
in charge of marketing and contracts, said he was proud that Israir was
first Israeli airline to buy Airbus planes. The model that Israir
the company’s best seller because of its comfort and economic
will benefit both Israir and its passengers, Rao said.
manufactures roughly half of the world’s passenger planes. The body of
is manufactured in Blagnac, near Toulouse. It is then transported to
interior assembly before going back to France for the final touches.
new planes will seat 174 passengers each and all the seats will be
economy class travel.