Israir (6H, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion) has signed a binding agreement to sell its two ATR72-500s to “an unrelated foreign airline” for a total of USD13 million, which will leave it with an all-Airbus fleet of six A320-200s, the leisure-focused carrier said in a stock exchange filing. It also disclosed the completion of an acquisition of a 25% stake in a set of five Greek hotels currently under renovation.
According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the two Avions de Transport Régional turboprops, 4X-ATH (msn 931) and 4X-ATI (msn 962), are still active in the Israir fleet. ch-aviation analysis of Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows that both mainly operate the popular domestic route between Tel Aviv Ben Gurion and Eilat Ramon.
The carrier took delivery of its sixth A320, 4X-ABW (msn 2587), last month, and now “the goal is to complete the update of the fleet, so that it will consist exclusively of Airbus aircraft by the second quarter of 2023, which is a period characterised by high demand,” an earlier stock filing said.
The deal is subject to several conditions involving inspections and test flights, and the deadline for compliance with these is February 28. If it completes the sale of the ATR72s before receiving the seventh A320 twinjet, it will enter into new short-term wet-lease agreements to take additional aircraft, it added. Israir already wet-leases three B737-800s from its proposed acquisition target and European AOC Smartwings (Czechia).
Israir had already revealed in June that it was set to transition to an all-Airbus fleet following the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the sale of the ATR72s to an unspecified third party, a deal it estimated at the time to be around USD12 million.
Israir has meanwhile completed the purchase of 25% of a set of five hotel properties in Greece, for about EUR8.11 million euros (USD8.6 million), a third bourse filing announced. It signed the contract, it said, “with shareholders that include Rigito Group and Abertilo Group and other Cypriot companies related to these groups.” By the time the transaction is completed, the sum may be updated in light of the rising costs of renovations, it added.
The hotels included in the deal are the Brown Kubic, the Brown Museum Hotel, and My Athens Hotel, all in the Greek capital, the Brown Beach Eretria near Athens, and the Isla Brown Chania Resort & Spa on Crete. Most of these are due or are undergoing extensive renovations.
The deal follows a EUR40 million (USD42.5 million) agreement Israir signed with the Brown Hotels chain last summer.
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