BEN GURION AIRPORT, Israel (Reuters) – El Al Israel Airways (ELAL.TA) took delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane on Wednesday in a $1.twenty five billion investment decision aimed at renewing its extended-range fleet, halting a fall in its market place share and successful back organization consumers.

In all, Israel’s flag provider will get 16 787-8 and 787-nine planes — each acquired and leased — by 2020. It expects one particular more 787 by calendar year-conclude, a whole of seven by the conclude of 2018 and fourteen by the conclude of 2019.

They will to begin with fly from Tel Aviv to Newark setting up on Oct. seventeen and then Hong Kong, London and New York’s JFK airport.

At a ceremony on the tarmac at Ben Gurion Global Airport subsequent the airplane’s flight from Seattle, CEO David Maimon stated the fleet renewal was new period for El Al, encouraging it much better contend in a fiercely competitive market place.

El Al was once the go-to airline for most Israelis many thanks to the variety of stringent protection that equips planes with missile protection methods.

But it has pissed off consumers — notably organization tourists — about the previous 10 years with an ageing fleet that compares poorly with opponents presenting newer jets fitted with the most recent in hello-tech amusement and comfort.

Final 7 days, it reported a 53 % fall in 2nd-quarter web income owing to better salary and jet gas prices. Its market place share at Ben Gurion Airport fell to 29.five % from 34.two % a calendar year ago.

“I am certain (since of) this plane, most of our travellers will be back, primarily the organization section,” Maimon instructed Reuters on Wednesday.

The common age of El Al’s 19-potent extended-haul fleet of Boeing 767s, 747s and 777s is about 19 a long time, and fourteen of them are more than 21 a long time outdated. El Al in the latest a long time has renewed its quick-haul fleet with 23 Boeing 737 plane.

“We have outdated plane. But in two a long time from now we will have a new fleet. The common age will be about five, six a long time,” Maimon stated, noting the 747s and 767s will be retired.

The new plane are envisioned to reduce gas prices by at least 20 %.

El Al, which is increasing into North The us with nonstop flights to Miami setting up in November, retains an all Boeing (BA.N) fleet. In a tender, it opted for the 787s about the Airbus A350s (AIR.PA). Toward the back of the new plane is inscribed “Proudly all Boeing”.

“This romance is just about 70 a long time outdated and we really don’t have a good deal of all-Boeing consumers any longer,” stated Ray Conner, Boeing’s vice chairman. “The romance between our enterprise, Israel and El Al is one particular of the more treasured kinds we have.”

Graphic on El Al’s market place share:

Reporting by Steven Scheer modifying by Susan Thomas

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