United Arab Emirates national airline Etihad, recently merged with Italian airline Alitalia, barred Alitalia from entrusting its jet maintenance to Israeli BEDEK Aviation, Italian media reported on Thursday. BEDEK Aviation is a subdivision of the Israel Aerospace Industries specializing in aircraft maintenance.
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In 2007 BEDEK signed an exclusive maintenance agreement for Alitalia's entire fleet of JT8D-217 engines, but the cooperation between the companies will apparently be brought to an end after Etihad bought the Italian airline in August 2014.
According to reports, Alitalia will use Italian Atitech for the maintenance of its long-range planes to Rome. 200 Alitalia employees will be fired due to the change.
According to Italian media, Etihad said it had decided to make the change so it could more closely supervise the service as the company decided to shift its emphasis to intercontinental flights.