Report: Israeli Plane Accidentally Enters Lebanese Airspace

By Yoni Weiss

An El Al airplane at Ben Gurion Airport. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

An El Al passenger flight recently entered Lebanese airspace, according to a report by Yisrael Hayom. The Boeing Dreamliner plane took off on a route to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, heading north. Mid-flight, the pilot encountered storm clouds and, guided by continuous communication with IAF and civil air traffic controllers, opted to veer around the inclement weather rather than navigate through it.

While following guidance to bypass the storm clouds, the pilot inadvertently entered Lebanese airspace during a maneuver around the storm. Controllers urgently directed the plane to return westward and exit the airspace it had entered unintentionally.

Flight paths to and from Israel had been rerouted due to the ongoing war, adding to the complexity of the situation. El Al conducted a comprehensive investigation into the Oct. 9 incident, providing its employees with additional training on company procedures. The pilots were still acquainting themselves with the new route, compounded by heightened stress amid the war’s initial days. Fortunately, the incident concluded without casualties or any attempts to endanger the Israeli plane.

Authorities in any country can easily differentiate a passenger plane from a fighter jet when an aircraft enters their airspace. Experts suggest that better familiarity with the route could have potentially averted this incident.

El Al responded, stating, “During the initial days of the war, route changes were made for operational security reasons, details of which we cannot disclose. However, we affirm that at no point was the safety of passengers and crew compromised, with El Al prioritizing the utmost safety and security of all passengers.”

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