El Al has been publicly reprimanded by an influential committee of the Knesset over continued prevarication concerning its long-haul order from either Boeing or Airbus and says any external political pressure to plump for one or the other must be revealed.

Sources within Israel say that Abraham Poraz, chairman of the Knesset's Economic Committee, has slammed the El Al board noting that it "...was not in Israel's honour" to be subject to so much external political demands.

The wrangle over El Al's choice of Airbus' A330-200 or Boeing's 777 aircraft has dragged on for five months despite an original decision by the Israeli flag carrier last October to opt for Airbus.

El Al has already decided to take three 777s, but the problem now lies with securing the finance for either another three to four Boeing long-haul aircraft or up to four A330s.

El Al has recognised the merits of buying between three and four A330s, especially as any deal is linked to up to 50% offset work by aerospace firm Israel Aircraft Industries. Israeli law normally only requires 35% offset but as Boeing is believed to have matched its European rival, any deal looks a win-win for the country's aerospace manufacturers.

Source: Flight Daily News