El Al Israel Airlines (LY, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion) has confirmed it is in early talks to merge its Sun d'Or International Airlines (2U, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion) subsidiary into that of the IDB Development Corporation Ltd., Israir (6H, Tel Aviv Sde Dov).

The Israeli flag carrier said in a filing with the Tel Aviv bourse that, depending on a market valuation of the two carriers, it would receive an undisclosed number of Israir shares in return for Sun D'Or's absorption into Israir.

In order for negotiations between the parties to progress, Israel's Globe newspaper says Israir will have to acquire a third A320-200 while disposing of its Diesenhaus travel agency to rival the Business Travel Center (BTC) group. While Israir has reportedly already agreed to terms with Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac), it has yet to conclude negotiations with Deutsche Bank for a loan to acquire the jet.

Sun d'Or operates regular, ad-hoc, and seasonal passenger charters using aircraft leased from El Al while for its part, Israir operates scheduled and charter flights to destinations throughout Israel, Asia, and Europe using its own fleet of two A320-200s and two ATR72-500s.