An Israir Airlines plane was seized by the authorities at Lisbon Airport on charges of an unpaid debt of millions of euros to Portuguese airline EuroAtlantic Airways, Globes reported.
EuroAtlantic CEO Tomaz Metello said the debt has gone unpaid for seven years, and noted that in December 2014, Portugal’s Supreme Court ruled in favor of his company’s claim against the Israeli airline.
The seizure of the Airbus A320 has thrown Israir’s flight schedule into disarray.
Israir disputed the accuracy of EuroAtlantic account, and contended that the seizure of its aircraft was illegal.
“In the course of the dispute, Israir was required to pay $2 million to EuroAtlantic. Israir made a provision of this amount in its books in 2014, and also prepared for the payment from the point of view of cash flow. It should be made clear that the reason for the detention is not an operational debt to the authorities at the airport in Lisbon or to its suppliers. Without warning, and in a violent move intended to hold the passengers hostage, the aircraft was detained in Lisbon,” Israir said in a statement.
Israir CEO Uri Sirkis was reportedly on his way to Portugal to try to settle the matter.