An El Al passenger flight from New York landed in Tel Aviv on Monday morning, after a 13-hour emergency layover on a Canadian air force base in below freezing temperatures.
The plane carrying some 400 passengers touched down at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv shortly before 10 a.m. Israel time, over 26 hours after it left John F. Kennedy Airport.
One of the passengers on board was Israel’s Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush, according to Israel National News and ultra-Orthodox news sources.
Ottawa: U/D Clip, El Al flight forced earlier today to make emergency landing in Canada remains stranded in Goose Bay, current temperature -10, another plane on the way to rescue passengers pic.twitter.com/aWgGToY2Yd
— Yiddish News (@YiddishNews) January 14, 2018
Flight LY008 landed at the Goose Bay air force base in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador after the pilot reported a malfunction in the plane’s cockpit.
The plane landed in Goose Bay at 5:55 a.m. EST, five hours after it had taken off from JFK airport at 12:41 a.m., according to El Al’s flight tracker service. But despite the airline’s immediate announcement that it would be sending a replacement aircraft to take the passengers on to Israel, it was over 13 hours before they were once again airborne.
With temperatures outside reportedly at -22 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 degrees Celsius), passengers huddled under blankets to stay warm.
“We’ve been here about six and a half hours,” Chen Harel, one of the passengers told Hadashot news on Sunday. “Every minute that passes is harder and harder for us, and we hope it will end quickly — there are adults and children here.”