Seven years after being grounded by Israeli offensive, airline is back in business with weekly flight to Amman
Seven years after grounding is planes, Palestinian Airlines was back in business on Wednesday, with an inaugural flight that travelled between the Egyptian town of Arish and Jordan’s capital, Amman.
The renewal of the air carrier’s business was facilitated by an agreement reached between the Palestinian Transportation Ministry and the authorities in Egypt and Jordan.
The company was founded in 1995, and operated flights that shuttled travelers between the Dahania Airport in Rafah and various destinations in the Middle East and North Africa. The company was forced to shut down after the IDF bombed Dahania in 2001, with the start of the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
Palestinian Airlines Director General Zeyad Albad told Ynet that the company will carry a weekly flight from Amman’s Marka International Airport and Arish. The route will simplify travel for Gaza residents, who were forced to travel over 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) to the nearest international airport – in Cairo, according to Albad.
The official noted that that the airline’s fleet consists of two Fokker planes, a Boeing 727 and an Airbus 320.
“At first, the smaller planes will be used, because 40 or 50 passengers don’t warrant the use of the larger planes,” Albad said, adding that during busy season, when Muslim pilgrims flock to Mecca, the entire fleet will be involved.
In the future, the company intends to offer flights to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Istanbul, Turkey.
By Elior Levy