The third Boeing 777-200ER (extended range) airplane took off from the Boeing factory in Everett, Wash., today after El Al Executive Vice President Itzchak Amitay took delivery on behalf of the company.
After two days in New York City, the airplane, named Hasharon, will depart late Saturday night and arrive in Tel Aviv Sunday afternoon.
The 777s are the first-ever in El Al's fleet, and were ordered in October 1999. The first airplane was delivered in January and the second in February. They will be used on routes to New York, London and Hong Kong. The 777 is ideally suited for such long-range, non-stop flights and has an impressive schedule reliability rate of more than 99 percent - the best in its class.
"It's a thrill for me to visit Boeing and fly home in this beautiful jet," Amitay said. "Our passengers have been very impressed with our new 777 service, and we are anxious to have all three 777s in operation."
El Al operates an all-Boeing fleet, which includes five Next Generation 737s, eight 757-200s, 10 747s and six 767-200s.
"El Al has been a valued Boeing customer for 50 years," said Toby Bright, vice president of Sales, Europe/Russia. "We are very happy to continue our partnership with them as they upgrade their fleet with the most technologically advanced airplane in the world."
The Boeing 777 is the world's most efficient twin-engine jetliner in its class.