El Al Israel Airlines (LY, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion) plans to place an order for up to thirty new-generation narrowbody aircraft in early 2024 and is in advanced talks with Airbus, in addition to existing mainstay manufacturer Boeing, Chief Executive Dina Ben Tal told Reuters.

The Israeli carrier said during an investor presentation that it aims to operate 28-31 narrowbody aircraft in 2028. The ch-aviation fleets module shows that the carrier's current fleet comprises fourteen B737-800s and eight B737-900ERs. It also wet-leases three B737-800s from Smartwings (Czechia) (QS, Prague Václav Havel).

The campaign to source the aircraft was launched in April 2023. Should El Al select Airbus, it would be its first-ever non-Boeing order.

El Al aims to also grow its widebody fleet. It recently took its fourth B787-8 and also operates twelve B787-9s. It has a further three -9s on order, with deliveries scheduled by 2026. In the next two years, the airline plans to add an additional three B787s of so far unspecified variants, increasing the fleet to 22 in total.

The carrier's widebody fleet also comprises four B777-200ERs, the first of which recently completed cabin refurbishment. El Al plans to gradually upgrade the interiors of the other three, a process expected to take around five months per aircraft. To avoid the cut in capacity these changes would cause, the airline is considering taking two mothballed B777-200ERs out of long-term storage at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport. 4X-ECA (msn 30831) and 4X-ECC (msn 30833) are both of 2001 builds and have not flown since 2020.

In yet another fleet development, El Al has begun operating its first and so far only B737-800(BCF). The aircraft was ready for delivery in April 2023, but its service entry was delayed by extended certification procedures. T7-ELAL (msn 33004) eventually debuted on the Tel Aviv-Istanbul Airport route on August 11, 2023, using the AOC of SM Executive Aviation (SMF, Rimini), which also wet-leases an A300-600R(F) to El Al for the Tel Aviv-Liège route. The carrier did not respond to ch-aviation's query on whether the B737 would remain on the San Marinese company's AOC or be moved to the Israeli one.

El Al plans to use the narrowbody freighter for regional services to Istanbul (both the main airport and Istanbul Sabiha Gökcen) and Dubai World Central.