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El Al Announces it Will Buy And Lease 15 Boeing Dreamliners

787El Al Airlines has announced its largest acquisition in the history of the airline involving fifteen Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 (Dreamliners) from the US Boeing Company which will be purchased and leased. The deal includes an option for 13 more of the planes with the first plane due to arrive in Tel Aviv in 2017. Globes reports that estimates are that a half of the planes will be purchased outright.

The deal signals the pashing out of the 747-400s and the 767 fleet, to be replaced during a five-year period. The new aircraft will operate on flights to New York, Boston, Bangkok, South Africa, Mumbai, Toronto and other destinations.

According to the Globes report, “El Al also reported its financial results for the second quarter of 2015. Profit grew 6.2% to $17.3 million from $16.3 million in the corresponding quarter of 2014. Revenue fell 10.7% to $511 million compared with the corresponding quarter”.

According to Wikipedia, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Its variants seat 242 to 335 passengers in typical 3-class seating configurations.

It is Boeing’s most fuel-efficient airliner and is a pioneering airliner with the use of composite materials as the primary material in the construction of its airframe.

The 787 was designed to be 20% more fuel efficient than the 767 it is replacing. The 787 Dreamliner’s distinguishing features include mostly electrical flight systems, swept wingtips, and noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles. It shares a common type rating with the larger Boeing 777 to allow qualified pilots to operate both models.

The aircraft has suffered from several in-service problems, notably fires on board related to its lithium-ion batteries. These systems were reviewed by both the FAA and the Japanese aviation agency. The FAA issued a directive that grounded all 787s in the US and other civil aviation authorities followed suit. After Boeing completed tests on a revised battery design, the FAA approved the revised design and lifted the grounding in April 2013; the 787 returned to passenger service later that month.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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