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Saudia Decries “Fake News” Photo

Edited photo depicts Saudi aircraft at Israeli airport.

The Saudi Arabian flag carrier is vehemently denying one of their aircraft landed at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) after a viral photo depicted an aircraft in Saudia livery on the ground at the station. BBC News reports the carrier publicly dismissed the photo as a hoax, blaming unknown parties for the spread.

The picture, which has been shared across social media networks, depicts a Saudia-branded aircraft in front of a sign identifying TLV in the background. The photo in question was first distributed by Reuters and originally depicted an El Al Israel Airlines Boeing 777 on the ground. The image was edited to change the livery to that of Saudia, the state-owned carrier of Saudi Arabia.

Israel and Saudi Arabia do not maintain diplomatic relationships and no flights operate directly between the two countries. After providing proof of the doctored photo, the carrier cautioned that the photos could be part of a defamation campaign against the nation over their diplomatic row with Qatar.

“There are some quarters that use a large number of anonymous social media accounts to spread lies, rumors and exaggerations to harm and defame the airline, a national symbol,” Abdulrahman Al-Tayeb, spokesperson for Saudia, told a local newspaper according to BBC News. “Unfortunately, some people, in good faith, re-tweet them without verifying their authenticity, which makes them responsible for their actions, and thus liable to punishment under the law.”

Only once has a Saudia aircraft actually landed at TLV, with consequences for the operators. According to BBC News, the aircraft in question stopped at the Israeli airport in 2015 when a Portuguese company leased an off-duty aircraft. The carrier terminated the lease contract after the incident.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
localguy808 July 5, 2017

Weak minded Snow Flakes will believe anything they see.

Mahalomahalo July 2, 2017

Picture shows a 787 dream line, but the report states 777??? Can we do some editorial review before the post?

Allan38103 June 29, 2017

A seventh grader with computer can phony up a picture to show almost anything. What is important here is someone actually believed it.