Palestinian Airlines to shut down after 25 years of activity

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The airline’s fleet of two Fokker 50 aircrafts have been leased to other airlines over the last few years.

The Palestinian Authority announced on Tuesday that it will be closing its airlines services – Palestinian Airlines – after 25 years of limited activity, the Palestinian News Network (PNN) reported.

The decision to liquidate the company was finalized and announced on Tuesday by the Palestinian Transport and Communications Ministry. But it wasn’t unexpected. In September, the airline offered its remaining aircrafts – two Fokker 50 aircrafts – for sale.

And in any case, the company has been operating in a very limited scope for years. Its fleet of two operational aircrafts have been leased to other airlines over the last few years, with one currently located at Cairo International Airport in Egypt and the other in Amman, Jordan.

According to PNN, Palestinian Transport and Communications Ministry Undersecretary Ammar Yassin said that the maintenance of the plane located in Amman is very high and that the ministry had not received offers to purchase it. The other plane had been leased to an airline in Nigeria but the contract was not renewed because of the situation created by the coronavirus pandemic, Yassin explained.

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One of the challenges in finding potential buyers for the planes is their age – over 30 – with airlines usually preferring to purchase planes that were manufactured 15 years ago or earlier.

Palestinian Airlines was established in 1995 and became operational in 1997. Its fleet included the two Fokker 50 aircrafts which were donated by the Netherlands and a Boeing 727 which was donated by Saudi Prince Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Al Saud.

The airline reached its peak at the year 2000, but was forced to halt all flights in October of the same year, once the Second Intifada broke out. In 2012 the airline started working in a limited scope and operated two weekly flights to Sini and Jordan. In 2017 it leased its aircrafts and halted most of its activity.

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