Israir buys pair of Airbus jets

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.

By RON FRIEDMAN
September 20, 2010 05:23
2 minute read.
israir 88 298

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.

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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 Scotland.”

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 Amsterdam.

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 the first Israeli airline to buy Airbus planes. The model that Israir purchased was the company’s best seller because of its comfort and economic efficiency, which will benefit both Israir and its passengers, Rao said.

Airbus manufactures roughly half of the world’s passenger planes. The body of the A320 is manufactured in Blagnac, near Toulouse. It is then transported to Hamburg for interior assembly before going back to France for the final touches.

The new planes will seat 174 passengers each and all the seats will be dedicated to economy class travel.


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