Airbus is broadening its presence in Israel after the second-largest operator, Arkia, became the first in the country to sign for the re-engined A320 family.

Arkia is taking four A321neo twinjets but has yet to choose between the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G and the CFM International Leap-1A engines.

Airbus has established a foothold in Israel - previously a stronghold for rival Boeing - following Israir's selection of A320 jets.

But the airframer is keen to secure a fleet agreement with the flag-carrier, El Al, for which it has previously come close to supplying long-haul types.

The Arkia A321neos will be configured in an all-economy layout for 220 passengers, and will be operated on domestic and European routes.

Arkia chief Gadi Tepper says the type is a "perfect fit" for the airline's strategy and will "bring new levels of comfort to our passengers while creating value for our shareholders".

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news