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El Al cancels Eilat flights over safety concerns

JTA

September 11, 2013 | 9:57 am

Photo by Oren Rozen/Wikipedia

Photo by Oren Rozen/Wikipedia

El Al Airlines halted flights to the southern resort city of Eilat, after questioning the safety of new flight paths.

El Al made the announcement that it would cancel its three daily daytime flights from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport to Eilat on Tuesday, after new landing and takeoff patterns for Eilat, designed to reduce the chances of a terrorist attack from Egypt, were put in place on Monday. The airline’s nighttime flights, whose routing has not been changed, were not cancelled.

El Al said the new traffic patterns did not meet international aviation safety standards, according to Reuters.

“El Al expects the aviation authorities to urgently deal with the matter to allow the safe and regular operation of flights to Eilat,” the company said in a statement.

Last month, Israeli authorities ordered the closure of Eilat’s airport based on a tip from Egyptian security services that a radical Muslim terrorist cell planned to launch mid-range missiles at the airport.

In April, two long-range rockets fired from the Sinai Desert by an Islamist terrorist group hit Eilat

Other Israeli airlines that fly from Ben Gurion to Eilat have not cancelled their flights. El Al said it would reimburse passengers for their tickets and provide free bus service to Eilat.

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