IsrAir Poised to Buy Two Airbus Jets

Would be first Israeli airline to buy from the European jets manufacturer

IsrAir is in advanced negotiations to buy two Airbus passenger planes, plus an option to buy two more, for a quarter-billion dollars.

The jets in question are model A-320.

If the deal is done, until it can deliver the new jets, Airbus would lease others to IsrAir, said a top source at the airline.

The source adds that the deal should be finalized within a matter of days.

It would make IsrAir the first Israeli airline to actually buy anything from Airbus, though El Al has flirted with the idea before.

IsrAir has two Boeing 757-200s, each with 215 seats and range of 7,500 kilometers. It uses these plans to fly charter routes in the Mediterranean region and to 40 European destinations as well, including Riga and Ljubljana.

It also flies a leased Boeing 767-300 widebody, with 260 seats, on its international lines to the U.S. and Thailand.

For flights within Israel, IsrAir uses 50-seat ATR-42s with a range of 2,100 km.

The airline flies about 300,000 passengers a year internationally and another 400,000 inside Israel, meaning, from the north to Eilat. The company is owned by Nochi Dankner's Ganden Holdings. The Slovenian company Aktiva Capital, controlled by Darko Horvat, also owns a stake in it.