Palestinian Airlines to shut down after 25 years of activity

The airline's fleet of two Fokker 50 aircraft has been leased to other airlines over the last few years.

gaza rafah airport 298 (photo credit: AP)
gaza rafah airport 298
(photo credit: AP)
The Palestinian Authority announced on Tuesday that it will be closing its airline service - 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 for its remaining aircraft - two Fokker 50's.
The company has been operating in a very limited scope for years. Its fleet of two operational aircraft has 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, Ministry undersecretary Ammar Yassin said that the maintenance of the plane located in Amman is very high and that the ministry had not received any 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. 
One of the challenges in finding potential buyers for the planes is their age - over 30 years old - with airlines usually preferring to purchase planes that were manufactured not more than 15 years ago. 
Palestinian Airlines was established in 1995 and became operational in 1997. Its fleet included the two Fokker 50 aircraft which were donated by the Netherlands and a Boeing 727 which was donated by Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Al Saud.
The airline reached its peak in the year 2000, but was forced to halt all flights that October when the Second Intifada broke out. In 2012, the airline started working in a limited scope, operating two weekly flights to Sinai and Jordan. In 2017, it leased its aircraft and halted most of its activity.