ARKIA Israeli Airlines, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Airbus for up to four A330-900neo aircraft. The commitment makes ARKIA the first Airbus widebody customer in Israel and the first customer for the type in the region. The aircraft will help ARKIA to expand their growing operations into long haul business and leisure markets with the world’s most popular wide-body. The A330-900neo is the most cost-efficient in its size category, offering a reduction in fuel burn of 14 percent per seat, an increase in non-stop flying range of up to 400 nautical miles and the lowest possible maintenance costs.
ARKIA’s A330-900neo will join the four A321neo aircraft ordered at the Farnborough International Airshow in 2012. With Airbus’ Cross Crew Qualification concept, pilots and engineers can transition from the single-aisle A320 Family, to the twin-aisle A330 quickly. Airlines can operate and maintain both types with the same pool of pilots and engineers. The A330neo also offers the latest in In-Flight entertainment either 4th generation or light IFE. Moreover, it offers connectivity to the ground should it be mobile telephony and internet access services and in parallel on board wireless services enabling passengers to access Wi-Fi content and services on their personal electronic devices.
“The A330-900neo will be a key asset to help us grow efficiently on highly competitive international long-haul routes from and to Israel. The A330-900neo will offer our passengers the latest product with great cabin comfort on direct, long-haul flights,” said Nir Dagan, ARKIA President and Chief Executive Officer. “Thanks to the proven reliability and fuel efficiency of the A330 family, the A330neo will also ensure that our majority shareholders, the Nakash brothers and Jordache Enterprises, are super happy.”
Nakash Holdings is the private investment office arm of Jordache Enterprises (from the Jordache jeans fame). The company manages a multibillion-dollar investment portfolio including MG Aviation in Hong-Kong, U.S. POLO Assn, retail, agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, hotels and real estate located in prime locations throughout the world. The real estate portfolio consists of retail, office, multifamily and hospitality properties. Among the group’s recent acquisitions are the Versace Mansion and the famous Art Deco Setai Miami Beach.
“We are delighted to have reached this milestone with ARKIA. This commitment marks our latest partnership with a growing Israeli market and our first widebody aircraft deal in Israel. The A330neo is great for ARKIA and its customers and great for Israel,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. “The combination of the A321neo with A330neo in ARKIA’s fleet will allow the airline to reap the benefits of Airbus’ unique aircraft commonality, offering unrivalled efficiencies, with the most modern, fuel efficient and streamlined fleet.”
Building on the huge success of the A330 Family with almost 1400 orders, proven economics, versatility and reliability, the A330neo will incorporate latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, aerodynamic enhancements and new cabin features.