Israeli aviation investment firm Knafaim Holdings is to start searching for a new head, after chief executive Ronen Tsioni chose to step down from his position.

Knafaim has several aviation interests including lessor Global Knafaim Leasing and a stake in Israeli flag-carrier El Al – an airline of which it used to be the controlling shareholder.

Tsioni has notified the Knafaim board that he wants to end his tenure, the company states, although the date has yet to be fixed. He has led the company for nine years.

Knafaim recently invested in the Cypriot carrier Tus Airways and has newly concluded an agreement to lease an Airbus A330-200 to the airline.

The aircraft, previously operated by Virgin Australia, will be delivered to Tus at the beginning of this year.

Global Knafaim says the aircraft will be temporarily adapted to transport light cargo for the e-commerce market, “at least for the initial operating period”.

The company has also reached an agreement to lease an A330-300 to a new customer, which it describes as a Eurasian company in the process of obtaining operating licences.

It has not identified the would-be operator.

But Global Knafaim says the aircraft, previously operated for TransAsia Airways, is a 2010 airframe that has been undergoing upgrade work at a facility in Italy.