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Tel Aviv, Israel - Israeli flag carrier El Al has signed a memorandum of understanding with an undisclosed US lessor to sell and lease back its three Boeing 737-800 jets for $76 million.

The three aircraft involved in the deal are Boeing 737-800s with registrations 4X-EKH, 4X-EKJ, and 4X-EKL. They were delivered to the Israeli carrier in 2009 when Spanish carrier Air Europa canceled its order for these planes.

El Al says it will deposit $21 million of this sum with the buyer to cover maintenance and refurbishment work during the lease period.
About 75% of this deposit that it adds will be gradually returned to the airline by the end of next year.

The leaseback agreement will be valid for eight years. The move comes after the Israeli Ministry of Finance wanted the airline to reduce the number of its planes from 45 to 35 to guarantee a state loan. The airline will also lay off around 2000 employees as part of the measures to survive in the pandemic era.

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