(AP/Altaf Qadri) (AP/Altaf Qadri)
Saudi airlines

A routine airplane maintenance became an international incident after a Portuguese company used Israeli services and a photo of the Saudi plane at Ben Gurion Airport went viral.

A Saudi Arabian plane that landed at Ben Gurion Airport last Tuesday for scheduled technical maintenance has generated an international incident.

The Saudi Airlines aircraft, an Airbus A330 flying to Tel Aviv from Brussels, had no passengers on board and was in Israel for maintenance given by Bedek Aviation Company. It was spotted by Israelis and subsequently reported by Israel’s Ynet.

The report stated that the aircraft was owned by a Lisbon-based European company and leased to Saudi Arabia Airlines. It landed in Israel for upkeep, as per the directions of the European company.

The Saudi Arabian company cancelled its contract with Hi Fly, the Portuguese leasing company, following the revelation by Ynet.

Saudi Arabia has no official ties with Israel and has been among the leaders of the Arab boycott of the Jewish state since the 1970s. Therefore, there are no direct flights or financial collaboration between the two countries.

According to the Saudi airline, by taking the plane to Tel Aviv, Hi Fly committed a blatant violation of the contract, which mandates that the leasing company obtain written approval mentioning the airports where it lands or undergoes routine maintenance.

By: United with Israel Staff