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El Al Resumes Flights to Manchester

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El Al announced it will resume its weekly flights to Manchester in the British midlands after reaching a compromise with the airport authorities there in a dispute over security arrangements.

Israel’s national air carrier had cancelled the Manchester flight a week ago because its check-in counter was moved from the main concourse to a basement area serving flights to Belfast. The airport authorities admitted security concerns arising from the December 27 terrorist attacks on El Al passenger facilities at the Rome and Vienna airports in which 19 died.

El Al protested the move. Under the compromise agreement, its passengers will identify themselves at the regular check-in area and proceed with their baggage through passport control near the departure gates. Customs will inspect their baggage at that point from where it will be transferred to the plane.

A similar situation arose at Heathrow, London’s main airport, where the El Al counters were moved from the international departures terminal used by all foreign airlines to a separate terminal utilized by British Airways only for domestic and overseas flights. El Al agreed to the change, but under protest.

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