Exactly half of the 160 Israeli passengers who had intended to depart were actually able to board the Lufthansa rescue flight from Frankfurt to Israel on Tuesday evening. The rest had no choice but to stay in the airport indefinitely, including one man who missed the levayah of his mother, a”h, in Ashdod.
The remaining 80 passengers were then informed on Wednesday morning that they would be rescued from the airport later in the day, after an uncertain night in the airport. They received their boarding passes about 13 hours after the original flight was canceled.
The original flight took off without these passengers due to pressure from the Israeli authorities who demanded that the pilots leave immediately without addressing those left behind.
Passengers stranded in Frankfurt were seen sleeping on the floor of the terminal, with no kosher food and other necessities.
Most of the stranded passengers were chareidi, including a group of shochtim returning from South America.
Currently, only 200 Israelis are permitted to enter Israel each day in order to quell the infection rate in the country, and prevent the spread of coronavirus mutations from abroad.
The reason why half the passengers were barred from checking in is unknown.
Local Chabad shluchim came Wednesday morning to bring kosher food to the stranded passengers, who are set to finally leave Frankfurt later in the day.