EL AL Plans To Acquire 30 Boeing 737 MAXs

EL AL Plans To Acquire 30 Boeing 737 MAXs

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EL AL is now in exclusive talks to refresh its narrow body fleet, and an official Boeing 737 MAX order should be announced in the coming weeks…

EL AL decides on narrow body fleet renewal

For several months now, EL AL has been planning a major narrow body aircraft order, and has been deciding between the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX family of aircraft. The airline has now made a decision, and plans to acquire around 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, through a combination of purchases and leases. The aircraft are expected to be delivered over several years, starting in 2027.

The company’s board has approved this decision, and exclusive negotiations are ongoing between EL AL, Boeing, and aircraft leasing companies. The deal is expected to be finalized in the coming weeks. Once complete, this will be the biggest aircraft order in Israel’s history.

This deal could be valued at around $2-2.5 billion at list prices. Airlines typically get huge discounts off those prices, though keep in mind that EL AL’s jets are a bit more costly than those belonging to other airlines, given the safety systems that are installed on them. For example, EL AL is the only airline in the world to install missile defense systems on its aircraft.

EL AL is refreshing its 737 fleet

How the 737 MAX fits into EL AL’s fleet

For context, EL AL currently operates an all-Boeing fleet, comprised of Boeing 737s, Boeing 777s, and Boeing 787s.

When it comes to narrow body jets, EL AL has 24 Boeing 737s, with two thirds of those jets being 737-800s (an average of nearly 20 years old), and one third of jets being 737-900ERs (an average of nearly 10 years old). The 737 MAXs are expected to replace the existing 737s, and allow additional growth. I’m curious if all the 737-900ERs are actually retired in the coming years, as they’re still quite young.

I don’t think anyone is surprised to see EL AL selecting the 737 MAX for fleet renewal, as much as the jet has been having issues. This is the obvious choice in terms of fleet commonality compared to the existing jets. I just hope the airline isn’t relying on the 737 MAX 7 (doubtful) or 737 MAX 10, since those planes haven’t yet been certified, and it’s anyone’s guess when they will be.

EL AL has seen among its best financial performance in history in recent months, as it’s the only airline to have consistently served Israel since last October. We are starting to see other airlines resume service to Israel, so the airline likely won’t be able to maintain that advantage forever.

The airline also faces some costs that other airlines don’t, from the expensive systems installed on its jets, to grounding its planes for one day per week, to the amount that it spends on security personnel.

EL AL operates an all-Boeing fleet

Bottom line

EL AL is planning on shortly finalizing an order for the Boeing 737 MAX, as the airline has spent several months deciding on a narrow body fleet renewal strategy. I don’t think the 737 MAX order should surprise anyone, though perhaps the most interesting thing is the extent to which EL AL is planning on growing its fleet.

What do you make of EL AL ordering the Boeing 737 MAX?

Conversations (14)
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  1. BVT New Member

    EL AL and Boeing is something that would never change.

  2. Malcolm Guest

    If Hamas don't get you, the Max will!

    1. Ira Cohen Guest

      I worked for El Al at JFK from 68 to 70 . It was a great if challenging time. It's good to see that the best, safest airline is remaining an all Boeing carrier, a status it has held since it retired the "Whispering Giant" Bristol Brittania. If El Al chooses Boeing, that is a signal the aircraft is airworthy and safe . And that is good for America.

    2. Malcolm Guest

      El Al obviously has military/security needs that can only be served by Boeing, a defence company and long relationships like this are hard to break, but they may live to regret it.

      How about rechristening these new orders the HaMax variant, for flyers with suicidal tendencies!

  3. Brianair Guest

    America and Israel sure love each other more than anything else.

  4. ugoren Member

    The great race begins - "I'd never fly a 737 max" vs. "I'd never fly an Israeli airline".
    May the best nudnik win.

  5. Israeli Traveller Guest

    "Once complete, this will be the biggest aircraft order in Israel’s history"

    It should be noted, Israel no longer owns ELAL, it was bought by a private benefactor, Mr Rosenberg (From NY, although technically it belongs to his son who lives in Israel, as ELAL must be owned by an Israeli citizen) a few years ago.
    ELAL is no longer owned by the state of Israel.

    1. SlothBoy Guest

      I think you’re missing the point. “This will be the biggest aircraft order in Israel’s history” is reffering to all of the airlines based in Israel, not just airlines owned by the Israeli State.

  6. Sharon Guest

    Excellent to see the strong Israeli - American relationship prosper. America has no better friend in the Middle East than Israel.

    1. Mason Guest

      Any other airline buying a Boeing plane is a sign of them only caring about the cash, ignoring the passengers' safety.
      Meanwhile El Al buying a Boeing plane is a sign of solidarity of two (problematic) nations.

      The double standards. Sure, everything's good when the one you like does it.

    2. Speedbird Guest

      Fr! I remember when my best friend sold my state secrets to the Chinese government. That’s how I knew he was a friend for life. Almost as great an act of friendship as when he sunk one of my ships in an attempt to false flag me into a war with Egypt

    3. ImmortalSynn Guest

      You mean "no bigger parasite."

      Friendship is symbiotic, a parasite takes and doesn't give back commensurately. But no need to take anyone's word for it:

      USA gives money, military support, money, logistical support, money, I.T., money, money, and more money, to Israel.

      Israel returns all that giving, by ________. Go ahead, we'll wait.

    4. Malcolm Guest

      That's true. Israel gets the US to bail it out whenever it gets itself into a mess and pay its military bills and manage damage limitation, while sucking the US into wars and conflicts that screw up its relations with the rest of the world. And in return Israel tells the US to f*** off and humiliates it whenever it asks Israel to act with restraint or compromise to stop WWIII. What a very fair...

      That's true. Israel gets the US to bail it out whenever it gets itself into a mess and pay its military bills and manage damage limitation, while sucking the US into wars and conflicts that screw up its relations with the rest of the world. And in return Israel tells the US to f*** off and humiliates it whenever it asks Israel to act with restraint or compromise to stop WWIII. What a very fair and balanced relationship.

      Incidentally you may have heard of the USS Liberty a ship that was attacked for several hours by Israeli jets killing 34 US servicemen, an incident which has never been adequately explained to this day. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/aug/08/israel

      Israel only looks out for its own interests and ruthlessly exploits the US for its own ends, but gives nothing in return and wouldn't hesitate to attack US interests to serve its own. These 737s will likely end up being paid for by US taxpayers. Israel royally screws you over in every way possible and all you do is say thanks!

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ImmortalSynn Guest

You mean "no bigger parasite." Friendship is symbiotic, a parasite takes and doesn't give back commensurately. But no need to take anyone's word for it: USA gives money, military support, money, logistical support, money, I.T., money, money, and more money, to Israel. Israel returns all that giving, by ________. Go ahead, we'll wait.

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Malcolm Guest

That's true. Israel gets the US to bail it out whenever it gets itself into a mess and pay its military bills and manage damage limitation, while sucking the US into wars and conflicts that screw up its relations with the rest of the world. And in return Israel tells the US to f*** off and humiliates it whenever it asks Israel to act with restraint or compromise to stop WWIII. What a very fair and balanced relationship. Incidentally you may have heard of the USS Liberty a ship that was attacked for several hours by Israeli jets killing 34 US servicemen, an incident which has never been adequately explained to this day. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/aug/08/israel Israel only looks out for its own interests and ruthlessly exploits the US for its own ends, but gives nothing in return and wouldn't hesitate to attack US interests to serve its own. These 737s will likely end up being paid for by US taxpayers. Israel royally screws you over in every way possible and all you do is say thanks!

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Mason Guest

Any other airline buying a Boeing plane is a sign of them only caring about the cash, ignoring the passengers' safety. Meanwhile El Al buying a Boeing plane is a sign of solidarity of two <i>(problematic)</i> nations. The double standards. Sure, everything's good when the one you like does it.

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