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Israel says flights resume after aerial jam

© AFP/File | Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv returned to normal after a brief logjam because of the congested summer season


Israel's main international airport returned to normal Monday evening after temporary flight delays, the Israel Airports Authority said, blaming crowded summer skies for disruptions.

IAA spokesman Ofer Lefler told AFP that there had been a brief logjam because of a need to widen gaps between takeoffs and landings at the peak of the congested summer season.

Israel's state-owned KAN-11 TV and other media said that the delays at Ben Gurion airport, near Tel Aviv, were security related and that incoming flights were told to vacate Israeli airspace.

"At the moment about 15 aircraft in the air are not being permitted to land and being told to leave the airspace in the area of Ben Gurion airport," it said.

Lefler denied any security incident or closure of Israeli airspace.

"Everything is fine, everything is calm, there is no security incident," he said.

Last year Israel scrambled warplanes jets to intercept an unidentified passenger aircraft entering its airspace and escorted it to land.

It turned out to be an Egyptian Air Sinai flight from Cairo to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport.

The Egyptian aviation ministry said that the pilot of the Boeing 737 had given the necessary notification to Cypriot authorities as he flew through their airspace but they were too slow to pass it on to Israel.

© 2017 AFP