TROUBLE IN THE AIR: Two El Al Flights Delayed, 1 Forced to Land on Shabbos

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El Al flights 002 and 008 were delayed today, and one of them was expected to land on Shabbos.

Both flights left New York on Thursday, with 002 departing from John F. Kennedy International Airport shortly before midnight, instead of the 6:30 p.m. scheduled time.

The flight had initially been scheduled to land at Ben Gurion Airport at about noon; instead, the plane was diverted to Athens, where those on the flight were going to be staying in a hotel for Shabbos on El Al’s dime.

008 had been slated to land in Eretz Yisroel at about 4:30 p.m., with just minutes to spare before Shabbos; for that reason, the occupants on the flight were virtually all not Shabbos observers. After the flight was delayed, the plane was going to land in Rome, because, as per its official policy, El Al does not fly on Shabbos. One passenger, however, got sick and required medical attention, requiring the flight to continue directly to Israel due to pikuach nefesh, following a p’sak received from poskim in Israel, specifically the Sefardic chief rabbi. The flight was to land at Ben Gurion Airport about an hour after the start of Shabbos.

Both delays were attributed to the storm that wreaked havoc on the Northeast over the prior 24 hours.

El Al assured all passengers who were diverted “not to worry about being transported to Israel” after Shabbos and that the company will pay for the accommodations needed in Rome and Athens.

{DB Dunbar-Matzav.com Newscenter}

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