Some 50,000 passengers due to pass through Ben Gurion International Airport on Thursday were able to breathe a sigh of relief mid-morning, when tech teams managed to repair a malfunction that had grounded the automated luggage-checking system, forcing security staff to check cases manually.
Airport management said maintenance, technical and computer staff had been beefed up and worked through the night to try to repair the glitch, which was discovered at midnight.
As a result of the problem, 400 suitcases were left stranded at the airport and early morning flights to a range of European destinations were delayed.
In a statement, management said that night flights had taken off on time, ferrying some 15,000 passengers to their destinations.
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Additional baggage and security staff had been called in to cope with Thursday’s workload.
One passenger told Israel Radio early Thursday morning that there were huge lines and that he had been sitting in his plane for two hours waiting to take off. He was due to appear on Romanian TV and did not know whether his suitcase had been loaded onto his flight.
The glitch follows weeks of flight disruptions caused by an El Al pilots dispute, which was resolved earlier this month.