Israeli carrier Arkia is to become the first carrier in the country to take Airbus long-haul aircraft with a tentative agreement to acquire up to four A330-900neos.

The airline has signed a memorandum of understanding for the jets, the airframer states.

All A330neo jets will be powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines. No delivery date for the Arkia aircraft has been disclosed.

Israel has proven a difficult market for Airbus, with flag-carrier El Al a traditional customer for Boeing.

But Israir agreed to acquire A320s in 2007 and the carrier also briefly used an A330 for long-haul operations.

Arkia became an Airbus customer three years ago when it ordered four A321neo jets.

Chief executive Nir Dagan says the A330neo will be a “key asset” to help the airline “grow efficiently on highly-competitive international long-haul routes”.

Airbus confirms that the commitment marks its first widebody aircraft deal in Israel.

Source: Cirium Dashboard