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El Al has signed purchase agreement for three new Boeing 737-800s

El Al announced the signing of an agreement with the Spanish airline Air Europe. According to the agreement, El Al will buy three new Boeing 737-800 passenger aircraft from them. Air Europe will purchase the aircraft from the Boeing Company, and will hand them over to El Al immediately upon delivery from the factory.

El Al President Haim Romano noted that the Company continues with the implementation of its strategic plan "El Al 2010", which includes ongoing re-equipping and renewal of the fleet, hence the three new aircraft to be added. The three new Boeing 737-800s are intended to increase capacity in both Business and Economy Class, on short-haul routes.

The 737 can accommodate about 160 passengers. The purchase price, which includes installations and investments to enable them to be absorbed into the Company, is estimated at $145 million. The aircraft are expected to enter service during 2009.

Haim Romano also noted that this additional aircraft purchase is in answer to the growing El Al demand on routes to nearby destinations, and to provide a larger choice of seats and flights for the Company’s customers. Romano pointed out that El Al is constantly renewing and enlarging its aircraft fleet, in accordance with the strategy the Company set itself – to continue as the market leader in Israeli civil aviation.

El Al recently purchased four new Boeing 777s, at a cost of $540 million. Those aircraft, fitted with Rolls Royce engines, are to join the Company’s fleet of passenger aircraft for intermediate and long-range service. El Al’s aircraft will be outfitted with about 279 seats, and will be delivered in January, April and November of 2012, and January 2013.

El Al’s present fleet already includes eight 737s. Together with the latest 737 purchase, the Company’s fleet will grow to 40 aircraft.