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El Al reinstates Eilat flights after safety concerns

JERUSALEM (JTA) — El Al Airlines reinstated flights to the southern resort city of Eilat, after having previously expressed concerns about 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 had not been changed, were not cancelled.

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

The airline reinstated the flights on Wednesday, after being given permission to use the old routes until a compromise is brokered.

“We are glad that El Al has been enabled to fly on its regular route in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, despite our approach a week ago asking for an extension, permission has only now been received, but better now than never,” 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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