Could Israel’s all-Boeing El Al order Airbus aircraft?

El Al has issued an RFP to both Airbus and Boeing, indicating that it could add Airbus aircraft to its all-Boeing fleet
Vytautas Kielaitis /

The national carrier of Israel El Al Airlines has hinted that it is potentially looking to add Airbus aircraft to its all-Boeing fleet. 

The carrier disclosed the information in a recent investor update, stating that it was looking to start its its narrow-body aircraft replacement program in 2025 and had sent Requests For Proposals (RFP) to both “Boeing, Airbus, and engine manufacturers”. 

El Al is looking to add between four and seven aircraft to its narrow-body fleet, which consisted of 24 Boeing 737 NextGeneration (NG) aircraft at the beginning of 2023. 

Currently, according to data, the airline has 17 Boeing 737-800 NG and eight 737-900ER aircraft. In addition, it has wet leased an Airbus A320 aircraft, registered as 5B-DDK from Cyprus-based TUS Airways. The A320 joined El Al’s fleet in March 2021, per data. 

In addition to the narrow-body fleet, the Israeli carrier also has six Boeing 777-200ER, three 787-8, and 12 787-9 aircraft in its fleet, while another 787-8, registered as 4X-ERD, is yet to be delivered to the airline. The company expects to receive its 17th 787 sometime in 2024, and take delivery of five more aircraft of the type, operating a total of 22 Boeing 787s by 2028. 

El Al also aims to retire its Triple Sevens in the near future, with the airline planning to initiate a “replacement plan” toward the end of the operational lifespan of the aircraft. It will also retrofit the cabins of the Boeing 777s starting in Q3 2023 so that customers can be offered the same passenger experience available on the carrier’s 787s. 

The airline, which is based at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV), also provided an update on its Q1 2023 financial results, stating that it has posted a $9 million profit, its first net positive result since 2005. Q1 2023 revenues exceeding the levels of 2019 largely contributed to the fact, with the airline earning 117% more revenue than in Q1 2022, even though capacity increased by 93%.  

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