Airbus sails into local market
After a protracted battle between American aircraft manufacturer Boeing and its European rival Airbus, in which Boeing managed sabotage Airbus efforts to supply planes to Israeli companies, the European jet maker can finally chalk up an unprecedented achievement.
Israir signed yesterday a memorandum of understanding to acquire two Airbus A-320 model jets, with an option on a third aircraft. Israir said the deal is worth $150 million. A detailed contract will be signed in the coming weeks.
Airbus will deliver the new jets in 2010. In a few months Israir will lease Airbus planes to become the first Israeli carrier to employ the European models.
Airbus will provide Israir a full support package for integrating the new jets into its fleet, including training of air and ground crews. Training will commence in a matter of weeks.
Israir recently considered Boeing aircraft, as it desperately needed two aircraft for its European lines. However, Boeing could not meet Israir's time table, so the Israeli company opted for Airbus.
Israir is wholly owned by the Ganden Group, which is controlled by Nochi Dankner.
Boeing Israel president David Ivri told TheMarker, "I don't think Airbus dealt us a blow. Simply, we didn't succeed in supplying the airplanes Israir requested because of overburdened production lines."