The plane, 737 Boeing, was told by the Eilat control tower to postpone landing in the southern city seeing as the strip was unprepared. In order to stay in the air, the pilots climbed up, unknowingly – due to foggy weather – coming too close to the mountains.
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The systems alerted the near crash, at which point the pilots flew over the mountainous area, forced to fly over Egyptian territory – an unauthorized move unless coordinated in advanced.
Following the incident, the head pilot urged EL Al general director to discontinue after-dark flights to Eilat "despite economic and commercial repercussions."
The Israel Airports Authority and El Al decided to suspend the pilots until an inquiry was completed.
El Al stated: "The company turned to the Israel Airports Authority in order to find a suitable solution to problems regarding the Eilat airport.
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