Israel's official state aircraft "Kanaf Tzion"
Israel's official state aircraft "Kanaf Tzion" Avshalom Shoshoni/Flash90

The official state airplane, "Kanaf Tzion" (lit. Wing of Zion) took off from Nevatim airbase in the Negev for a refresher flight on Thursday morning, after a year of being stored in a hangar on the base.

The aircraft, which will serve Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu as well as President Isaac Herzog, took a fifteen-minute flight to swoop around the Negev skies.

Netanyahu intends to use the plane, despite outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid's plan to sell it as a civilian aircraft. After becoming prime minister, Lapid ordered the aircraft to be grounded and for its special systems to be disabled and removed, but now it appears that the plane will return to the skies with its systems intact, within the next few weeks.

According to journalist Yaron Avraham, only one system was removed from the plane during its time in storage, the "Magen Rakia" (Defender of the Skies) system that protects the aircraft from incoming missiles. The system will now be reinstalled and full technological capacity restored.