El Al Flight to Tel Aviv Diverted to Athens for Shomrei Shabbos Passengers

YERUSHALAYIM -
An El Al plane at Ben Gurion Airport. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

An El Al flight that left New York’s JFK airport on Thursday night was diverted to Gander, Canada, due to a medical emergency, landing there early Friday.

There were several shomrei Shabbos passengers on board the flight, who realized that they wouldn’t manage to arrive in Israel on time for Shabbos. El Al said that they would reach an airport close to Israel and arrive with enough time before Shabbos.

The plane flew to Greece and landed at the Athens airport, with the approximately 25 religious passengers staying there for Shabbos.

Channel 2 reported that El Al rented two planes from its subsidiary Sun D’Or, which brought the non-Shabbos observant passengers to Israel, while the El Al plane continued to Israel with only the crew – and the suitcases of the passengers – on board.

El Al said that in accordance with company policy, there are no passenger flights on Shabbos, and that the shomrei Shabbos passengers would be flown to Israel on the first flight Motzoei Shabbos.