Israel Domestic Flights Resume Use of Suspect Jet Fuel After Tests Show No Danger

Discovery of 'greasy' liquid in fuel had led to mass disruptions at Ben-Gurion last week, with takeoffs halted and incoming flights diverted.

Israel's domestic flights on Sunday resumed the use of fuel that had been suspected of contamination, after tests showed that the fuel contains no hazardous materials.

The decision was made after several tests carried out on a plane belonging to El Al airlines concluded that the fuel contains no dangerous elements and could be used for flights.

El Al plane
Nir Keidar

The use of the fuel on international flights will be resumed pending the results of ongoing tests. A special kit provided by the Israel Air Force was used for the tests, using the same filters that initially showed the irregularity in the fuel. The same test was set to be conducted on another 10 to 15 scheduled El Al flights throughout Sunday.

Flights between Sde Dov Airport, on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, and the southern resort town of Eilat had been suspended until 11 A.M. Sunday, pending a full inspection.

A refinery in Haifa and a laboratory in Ashdod have found that the fuel - which contains what have been described as "greasy liquid parts" - is fit for use. The Israeli Institute for Energy and the Environment has also conducted tests, and its results are pending. 

The fuel containing the greasy liquid was sent to an American Air Force lab in Germany for further testing, however, the lab refused to conduct the test, saying that they only deal with military matters and does not conduct experiments for Israel.

Departing flights were temporarily halted last Thursday after signs of contaminated jet fuel were discovered at Ben-Gurion International Airport. Incoming flights were also diverted to Cyprus.

International flights arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport since have been carrying enough supplies to reach their next destination without having to refuel in Israel.