A couple of months back I wrote of discrimination at JFK airport due to a passenger being an Israeli passport holder. In the incident, Kuwait Airlines would not let a woman fly to London on their plane due to the passport she carried.
Now in a bizarre piece of airline news, Saudi Arabian Airlines has cancelled its contract with a Portuguese company called Hi Fly which leases planes to the airline.
The offense: getting “an off-duty Saudi Arabian Airlines plane” serviced at an Israeli airport!
Oh the horror…
The plane, an Airbus A330 received routine service at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport by Bedek (an Israeli company).
So what’s the big deal?
Maybe Saudia is worried that the Israeli company bugged the plane! According to an article from UPI, landing the plane “with prominent Saudia markings” is a “violation of its contract“.
“Saudi Arabia has no official relationship with Israel, and has led the Arab boycott against Israel since the 1970s” according to UPI.
So does the airline have a right to be annoyed that the plane was serviced in Israel while in possession by the company that leases them the plane? I guess they do if doing so violated the contract.
The bigger question I wonder- was Israel opposed to allowing the plane to land at its airport and getting serviced there? There is no mention in the article of the country caring at all.
Find out more about the story from UPI here.