Normalisation of diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Israel has led to a new maintenance agreement under which Gulf Air aircraft will undergo line maintenance from Israel Aerospace Industries.

IAI states that its Aviation Group will offer a “comprehensive technical response” to all Gulf Air aircraft landing at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.

This will include pre- and post-flight services, daily maintenance, and technical support.

IAI already offers line maintenance to around three-quarters of airlines serving the Tel Aviv base, it states.

Gulf Air-IAI MRO-c-IAI

Source: IAI

Gulf Air acting chief Waleed Abdulhameed Al Alawi (left) signs the MRO deal with IAI’s Yosef Melamed

“We look forward to benefiting from their expertise and the wide technical knowledge they are well-known for in the industry,” says Gulf Air acting chief Capt Waleed Abdulhameed Al Alawi.

Bahraini and Israeli government representatives reached an air services pact in October allowing carriers from each country to operate up to 14 weekly services on the Manama-Tel Aviv route.

Gulf Air operated a special flight to Tel Aviv on 18 November, transporting a high-level delegation.

“[We see] the normalisation between both countries as an opportunity for business and technology partnerships and this agreement is the first of many more to come,” says IAI chief executive Boaz Levy.