On Tuesday, October 19, Israel airlines El Al Israel announced that it had entered talks with Arkia to consider an acquisition of its smaller rival, reported Reuters.
Israel’s flag carrier stated in a filing that it was considering buying Arkia and in exchange would issue its own shares to Arkia shareholders.
El Al, hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic since Israel’s borders have been largely closed to foreign tourists since March 2020, said negotiations are early and no binding agreements have been signed.
In exchange for a government bailout, El Al was forced to trim its workforce by one-third, eliminate routes and reduce its all Boeing fleet size to 29 from 45 planes.
Privately owned by the Nakash, Arkia, also financially strapped due to the pandemic, has seven aircraft and mainly flies domestic routes and to Europe using Embraer and Airbus aircraft.