El Al: Will Start Exclusive Negotiations With Boeing Over Buying New 787 Dreamliner Fleet

Negotiations to begin in mid-2017, statement says; deal's cost estimated at $800-$900 million.

An El Al plane on the tarmac at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion International Airport.
Daniel Bar-On

The Israeli airline El Al announced Thursday that it will pursue exclusive negotiations with the Boeing Corporation regarding the purchase and lease of 15 Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, the world’s most advanced commercial aircraft.

According to the El Al official statement, the negotiations will begin in mid-2017, and will also discuss an option to buy an additional 13 aircraft.

“During the next five years, these aircraft are designated to fly roundtrip from New York (JFK/Newark), Boston and Toronto to Israel and will replace the existing 747-400 and 767 fleet," El Al Vice and General Manager, North and Central America, Shmuel Kuzi said, according to the statement.

Delivery of the planes is planned for between 2017 and 2020.

El Al estimates the cost of the deal at $800 - $900 million, on the assumption that half of the planes will be purchased outright and the other half will be leased. The aircraft are considered cost efficient as regards fuel consumption and maintenance.