El Al has decided to cancel all its flights to Eilat starting on Thursday due to
a mandated change in flight route that the company says require additional tests
for safety reasons.
The company similarly canceled flights to Eilat on
Wednesday, September 11, after the Civil Aviation Authority changed the
procedure for taking off and landing at the Eilat airport.
that the airline requires time to examine the plans and conduct tests before
making the changes, El Al officials decided to cancel the flights for that
That Wednesday night, however, Civil Aviation Authority manger Giora
Romm decided that El Al could continue to fly its original route for two
The series of meticulous tests that occurred were
performed by El Al and a number of professional bodies, headed by the company’s
chief pilot and its 737 fleet manager, the company explained. In light of the
analysis that followed, El Al officials said they have concluded that the new
flight pattern does not allow for an adequate level of aviation
The report cited issues such as a “limited approach to the runway
for landing” and stressed that “there is not much room for error, especially for
cases and reactions to malfunctions.”
While El Al requested an additional
extension from the Civil Aviation Authority to continue flying its original
route, the company said that the request was not granted.
El Al has
pledged to refund money to customers who had flights booked and expressed hopes
that a solution would be found soon.
“The issue of flight safety is
paramount to El Al,” said El Al CEO Eliezer Shkedi. “We will not compromise the
safety of our passengers.”