An El Al airliner bound for London was forced to land in Ben-Gurion International Airport on Friday shortly after taking off, after discovering a technical fault in its flaps.

The malfunction was discovered 40 minutes into its flight, at which point the plant was instructed to burn fuel and return to Tel Aviv. It then circled the port for another 40 minutes, before safely landing. The flight's 350 passengers transferred to another plane.

A similar incident was recorded last year, when an El Al flight 027 landed safely at Ben Gurion Airport in an emergency landing, following the discovery of a technical fault in the left wheel of the airplane.

That flight, which was headed for Newark, returned to Ben Gurion and landed safely at 5:30am.

A technical fault was found in the left wheel of the plane after its 1:50am take-off, following which the flight crew decided to return to Israel.

A state of emergency was then declared, with70 ambulances, 20 fire trucks and numerous police vehicles arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport ahead of the landing.

On board the Boeing 777 were 276 passengers. Emergency services chief Eli Bin said, at the time "At 2:20 A.M. we received a message about preparations for an emergency landing of an El Al plane."

"We don't have experience with this, so we sent dozens of ambulances and many paramedics and doctors in the event of a worse case scenario of 270 injured passengers," he added.