INCIDENT | Austria scrambles fighter jets as contact lost with El Al flight

Two Eurofighter planes were sent out in accordance with safety protocol to establish visual contact with the crew. Due to issues with radio contact, Austria sent fighter planes into action on Monday to intercept an El Al flight traveling from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv. According to the Austrian Defence Ministry, the Boeing 777-200 was quiet for 12 minutes. The incident happened when German radar tower controllers in the city of Rhein attempted to hand off the jet to Austrian air traffic control, but the pilots didn't react to calls for confirmation.


The sight of the fighter planes approaching them, according to several passengers, sparked fear aboard the aircraft.  Tal Apel told the site, "The plane was really close, and we saw the missiles," and he said that the crew didn't provide a statement to clarify the situation. Without incident, the aircraft arrived at Ben Gurion Airport. El Al claimed that it was looking into the cause of the communication breakdown. 

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"As part of its intended flight path, aircraft LY338 from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv travelled through the airspace of Germany and Austria. The airline stated that contact with Austrian air traffic control was lost during the transition from German airspace to Austrian airspace for an unspecified cause. "Contact was made with the Austrian control after the control centre and another El Al jet that was in the sky diverted the attention of the plane's crew. The flight to Israel remained uninterrupted once communication was established again, it added.  

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