Israeli private airline Arkia is buying ex-American Airlines aircraft as the basis for a new leasing business. It has purchased five Boeing MD-82s and one Boeing 767-300 for $91.4 million. The aircraft have been immediately leased back to American for 12 or 13 years.

Arkia owns 29 aircraft leased to airlines including Air France, Air Canada, Air Transat and Polar Air Cargo. Arkia president Professor Israel Borovitch says the latest deal will be the basis for Arkia Leasing, which will co-ordinate the airline's leasing business.

Meanwhile, Arkia is expanding its route network, with destinations that the Israeli ministry of transport recently took away from El Al, including Copenhagen, Tashkent and Tiblisi.

Source: Flight International