El Al Scraps Eilat Flights Over Safety Concerns

Private Airlines Will Still Service Resort Town


By JTA

Published November 06, 2013.
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El Al airlines announced that it will cancel all flights to Eilat over concern about the safety of new flight paths.

The announcement Tuesday cancelling its night flights to Eilat comes two months after El Al halted its daytime flights to the southern resort city.

The decision will go into effect in two weeks, when the routes changed for daytime hours will go into effect for nighttime hours as well.

“The Civil Aviation Authority announced that it is changing the route of night flights as of Nov. 18 to a route which El Al has already announced does not adhere to accepted safety standards for day flights, and even more so for night flights,” El Al said in a statement Tuesday.

The new landing and takeoff patterns for Eilat reportedly were designed to reduce the chances of a terrorist attack from Egypt. El Al has said the new traffic patterns do not meet international aviation safety standards.

In August, 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.

Israir and Arkia airlines will continue to fly to Eilat from Ben Gurion Airport and Sde Dov airport in Tel Aviv. The move by El Al likely will cause a rise in air fare to Eilat due to the lack of competition.


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