Air Canada flight circles Israeli airport during rocket fire

Flight tracking website FlightAware.com shows an Air Canada plane had circled the airport before...

Flight tracking website FlightAware.com shows an Air Canada plane had circled the airport before landing. (FlightAware.com screengrab)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:11 AM ET

An Air Canada flight to Israel was forced to circle the Tel Aviv airport several times before landing after reports of rocket fire Friday.

Reuters reported Hamas fired three rockets at the Ben Gurion International Airport Friday in a bid to cripple operations there.

The Air Canada flight from Toronto, the first since the airline halted trips to Israel on Tuesday, landed about an hour late. The flight-tracking website FlightAware.com shows the plane circled the airport before landing.

"Five miles prior to landing at Tel Aviv airport this morning, our flight AC84 originating from Toronto was advised by Israeli Air Traffic Control to perform a standard go-around until airspace conditions could be confirmed as safe for landing," Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur said in an e-mail. "Our pilots altered course following ATC's instructions and landed 10 minutes later safely, without incident, at 12:07 (p.m.) local. A return Air Canada flight from Tel Aviv left about 30 minutes after it was scheduled to on Friday."

Air Canada plans to continue flying to Israel, but Arthur said, "The safety of our passengers and crew is our first priority and we will continue to monitor developments very closely."

A rocket fired at the airport on Tuesday prompted the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to ban flights to Tel Aviv and other airlines, including Air Canada and European carriers, followed suit.

Canada recommends travellers to Israel exercise a high degree of caution and advises against all travel to the Gaza Strip.


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