Saudis Cancel Contract After Plane’s Israel Touchdown

YERUSHALAYIM -
A Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747-400 seen during takeoff from Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan. (Asuspine )
A Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747-400 seen during takeoff from Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, Pakistan. (Asuspine )

Secret, high-level contacts between Saudia Arabia and Israel there may be, but that doesn’t mean they’re coming for a visit anytime soon.

In fact, Saudi Arabian Airlines forbids its planes and anyone operating them from flying to Israel. A Portugese company found out the hard way.

The Saudis canceled a contract with Hi Fly, a Lisbon-based airplane leasing company, after it landed an off-duty plane with Saudi Arabian Airlines branding at Ben Gurion, a Saudi newspaper reported on Sunday.

“The plane was off duty and under the management of the holding company at the time when it left Saudi Arabia on Sunday, May 3, for Brussels, Belgium, for routine maintenance,” the airline said.

“Such landing or operation process should take place in a country that shares diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to enable Saudia staff and the Civil Aviation authority to conduct inspection and follow up on the maintenance operation at any time,” Arab News quoted from Hi Fly’s contract with the Saudi carrier.