Israeli flag carrier El Al is buying Rolls-Royce Trent 800s to power three Boeing 777-200ERs on firm order, despite efforts by the US Government to have the powerplant selection overturned in favour of the General Electric GE90 (Flight International, 15-21 December 1999).

The R-R Trent-powered 777s will be delivered to El Al in the first half of 2001. The airline also selected the Airbus A330-200 for its new fleet, but plans for the aircraft are in limbo following political pressure to purchase US-built aircraft.

El Al had planned to announce its decision in favour of the Trent over competing US powerplants in early December, but this had to be delayed following a last-ditch lobbying effort led by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Source: Flight International