Flight full of Israeli passengers arrives from Saudi Arabia after Monday diversion

File: An Air Seychelles flight in Hong Kong in 2014 (CC-BY SA byeangel/Wikipedia)
File: An Air Seychelles flight in Hong Kong in 2014 (CC-BY SA byeangel/Wikipedia)

A flight full of Israelis lands at Ben Gurion Airport from Saudi Arabia, after being diverted to Jeddah due to technical issues yesterday.

The plane traveling from Seychelles to Tel Aviv made the unscheduled landing on Monday night due to an electrical issue. There were said to be 128 Israelis on board.

After the Israelis spent the night at an airport hotel, a replacement flight arrived in Jeddah this morning and the passengers departed.

Passengers said they had been warmly treated by the Saudis.

Israeli passengers who were on the flight from Seychelles and made an emergency landing in Saudi Arabia, seen after their arrival at the Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, August 29, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

“The reception we got from the Saudis was very surprising,” Emmanuelle Arbel, one of the passengers, told Radio 103FM from the airport hotel. “They said to us ‘You are most welcome’ and were smiling. In truth, we were not expecting this. ”

Arbel said when they first landed in Jeddah “we were a bit stressed, we did not know what was happening.”

Some people started crying, she said.

Jeddah Airport is an alternate landing site for routes to Israel that pass over Saudi airspace and is approved in advance for such flights in case of a need for unscheduled or emergency landings.

Since last year, the kingdom has allowed flights to Israel to cross over its airspace.

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