UK tourists stranded by El Al flight cancellation

By Marcus Dysch, November 14, 2013

Israeli airline El Al has failed to allay British tourists’ fears after it stopped running flights to Eilat.

The company has scaled back its flights to the resort in recent months, citing security risks related to new flight paths and landing procedures.

The airline will stop all travel to the city from next week in response to changes introduced by Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority.

The move has left holidaymakers concerned about securing connections from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport to the southern city. There are currently no direct flights from Britain to Eilat.

Passenger Frances Grossman, of Stanmore, north-west London, travelled to Israel on Tuesday and said the alterations had disrupted her trip.

She booked return flights from Ben Gurion to Eilat in August, before El Al cancelled its route. When she learned of the cancellations she contacted the airline and was offered a refund, but was told the company could offer no alternative transport to Eilat.

She said: “It’s up to us to find a way to get from Eilat to Ben Gurion for our flight home. My main complaint is that no one informed us of these changes.”

An El Al spokeswoman said: “El Al has announced before that the new guidelines for flight paths do not meet acceptable standards of safety for flights at daytime, and more so at night. We do not compromise on flight safety whatsoever.”

She said customers who had booked flights before they were cancelled would get a refund.

Israel has worked to protect its air traffic into the resort from attacks by terrorists in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

El Al announced this week that its new low-cost flights to Europe, as part of the country’s Open Skies agreement, will not include routes to Britain.

Last updated: 7:45pm, November 14 2013