An Israir Airbus A320 was confiscated by Portuguese authorities in Lisbon last week, reportedly due to an alleged debt of millions of Euros to Portuguese airline EuroAtlantic Airways.
A Portuguese news report said that the plane had landed in Lisbon at 10:30 a.m.last Monday with Israeli passengers on board and was set to return to Israel the same day. 150 passengers of the airline were left stranded in Lisbon after their return flight to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport was canceled.
The president of the Lisbon-based company Tomaz Metello confirmed that the plane was held in Portugal over a debt dating back seven years ago. According to Israir, it owes Euro Atlantic €2 million as per the court’s ruling. Senior Israir officials including CEO Uri Sirkis flew to Portugal in an effort to resolve the matter and release the plane from authorities.
The confiscation of the plane has led to delays and scheduling changes for Israir. By the end of the week it was reported that EuroAtlantic Airways withdrew its request to the Portuguese authorities to hold the Airbus A320. In a mutual statement it was noted that, "The two sides have reached an understanding about the amount that Israir will pay to EuroAtlantic, which will withdraw its request to impound the Israir plane in Lisbon. They also agreed that after the dispute is ended they will enter into commercial cooperation procedures in the field of tourism and hotels."