Plane Contract Canceled After Saudia Plane Is Taken To Israel

Filed Under: Media, Other Airlines

There was a bit of a media frenzy last week, after a Saudia plane was spotted at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport. As most of you probably know, Israel and Saudi Arabia don’t have diplomatic relations, to put it mildly.

So why was the plane in Israel?

Via The Times Of Israel:

The plane was taken to Israel on Wednesday for routine maintenance by Hi Fly, a Lisbon-based airplane leasing company.

“The company had been given a contract for air transport to provide Saudia with planes for commercial operations,” a statement by Saudia said.

As per the directions of the company, the plane landed in Israel for routine upkeep by Bedek, an Israeli company contracted by Israel Aircraft Industries.

An IAI spokesperson confirmed the plane’s arrival on Wednesday and said that the “ongoing and routine maintenance” of the Airbus passenger plane was part of the services Ben-Gurion provided to the aircraft manufacturer.

Not surprisingly Saudia wasn’t happy about this. Not only were they displeased, but they actually terminated their contract based on this, given that taking the plane to Israel was a violation of their contract:

According to Saudia, by taking the plane to Tel Aviv, Hi Fly had committed a blatant violation of the contract, which mandates that the leasing company obtain written approval mentioning the airports where it is to land or undergo routine maintenance.

“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.


(Tip of the hat to AJ)

  1. Somebody at HiFly was not thinking, or they badly wanted to get out of that contract asap.

  2. KSA doesn’t take this lightly just like we wouldn’t want USA aircraft serviced in North Korea. Too much could go wrong in this situation. Apparently someone at the vendor wasn’t thinking for sure.

  3. I am not surprised… I would never step on jew terrorist land anything of mine that has I would burn LOL so I am not shocked at all.

  4. This would surprise me if it were real. It would seem far more likely that as soon as the lady said “I refuse to fly on this plane until that’s checked out”, the pilot would say “great!” and the lady would have been kicked off the flight as, unfortunately, seems to happen to passengers far less disobedient than this one apparently was.

  5. @Ronen

    The flight had no passengers on board as confirmed by both Saudia and HiFly. The main reason it landed in Ben Gurion airport was for routine maintenance and inspection which, according to the terms of the contract, should be done in certain airports approved by Saudia.
    The tweet in Hebrew doesn’t seem like a better source of information than the two parties involved in the whole ordeal.

  6. @Gene : +1

    And make sure you don’t fly Airbus and Boeing jets, because some of them are maintained in Israel.
    Also, you can never know, there’s probably Israelis that work in their factories and offices. Or in the company that made your car. And by Israelis, I mean both men and women, not like in other countries in the region that would never even think about giving women the opportunity for college education. And don’t even get me started on LGBT.


  7. Ouch! Why wouldn’t Hi Fly clear this with Saudia per the terms of the contract? Weird.

  8. Israeli Air Force Jets can fly over Saudi Airspace to attack Iran. But this is a problem?

  9. @Harry

    When did that ever happen?
    Seems to me you’re either 1- making stuff up, or 2- listening to someone whose making stuff up.

  10. Its extremely unfortunate that some followers of this blog can’t help but turn it into a political arena full of hate, prejudice and ignorance. If you haven’t noticed yet guys, this is a blog about traveling which supposedly should make you more open to other cultures and more accepting of others.

    I can’t understand why some people insist on using this blog as means to channel their hate, there are tons of other websites where you can enjoy that hobby amongst a crowd more similar to yourself.

    Saudia he been the topic of two recent posts and going through the comments in both would help you understand what I’m talking about.

    A previous comment targeted Israel just like others targeted Saudi Arabia (though the amount of hate and racism Saudi Arabia gets os way more), and I’ll let be known that my stance is the same towards it, regardless of my political convictions, this is how everybody needs to be on a blog made solely for travel enthusiasts.

    I know that this comment will be moderated and I can’t blame the editors for that, if anything, it’s the right thing to do once things start to turn ugly, such hate and racism shouldn’t be tolerated.

    I apologize for writing the above comment and deviating away from the main post’s topic. But I feel it’s my objective as a fan of the blog to help keep those racist haters at bay and let them know they are unwelcome.

    Keep doing what you do best!

  11. @Gene, It is one thing to support something/someone, but completely other to say a blatant lie. Intel CPU was not invented in Israel, please check on that. I work for Intel, so i know it very well.

  12. @Abdulaziz – “When did that ever happen?”

    Happened in 1981 when they attacked Iraq.

    “Seems to me you’re either 1- making stuff up, or 2- listening to someone whose making stuff up.”

    Or he simply got the country wrong.

  13. I guess Jay’s comment was moderated? I’m surprised and not surprised that the same time.

  14. @Brian:
    Technically the IAF didn’t get permission to enter Saudi airspace for Operation Opera.

    It has not *happened*; it has been *discussed* as a contingency many times in the past, and it made the news again just a few months ago. Israel and Saudi Arabia may not have official diplomatic ties, but since when has that prevented coordination between two entities? Just look at how the rest of the world does business with Taiwan/ROC.

    And surely you must be familiar with the expression “The enemy of the enemy is my friend”?

    Which site do you work at, and in which division? Intel’s development center in Haifa was heavily involved in the development of Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, and Broadwell. They were also responsible for the Pentium M and the Core 2 family (the first chips using the Core microarchitecture, which Intel uses to this day) of CPUs. Intel is thoroughly a multinational corporation when it comes to R&D these days.

  15. Sorry, that last bit should read “the first chips using the Core microarchitecture, the ancestor of the architectures of which Intel uses to this day”.

  16. @Steven L, When you say “Haifa site was heavily involved in development”, did you mean ramp-up process? In case you work at intel, you know what site does the development, and then how it gets transferred to the other sites. As far as what site i work at, i do not feel comfortable putting all that info on internet. I just had objection with someone portraying CPU being conceptualized and developed(=Invented) in Israel. However, i do understand people do get emotional in political discussions, even though the topic is not one.

  17. @Steven L. – I know that. Harry’s original comment said nothing about getting permission.

  18. @Harry

    Can’t you see that there’s a certain pattern to the three links you just posted?

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