El Al plane
An El Al plane on the runway at Ben Gurion Airport. Photo by Moti Milrod
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El Al flight 323 scheduled to depart for France at 9:00 A.M. Wednesday morning was delayed in Tel Aviv due to technical difficulties. All the passengers were forced to disembark, among them Deputy Minister Ophir Akunis, on his way to Lyon for a conference.

Passengers on the flight told Haaretz they sat on the plane for nearly an hour waiting for takeoff, before being informed they had to return to the terminal due to technical difficulties.

It is unclear when they will be able to depart for Paris. Passengers with connecting flights will have to reschedule.

Also on Wednesday, an El Al flight en route to New York made an emergency landing in Berlin on Wednesday after a passenger fell ill.

The passenger was evacuated to hospital.

Flight 001, which departed Ben-Gurion Airport at 1:00 A.M. and was carrying 395 passengers, continued on its route to the U.S.

According to regulations, if one of the passengers feels ill, the flight crew checks to see if there is a doctor on board. In many cases there are. Either way, it is ultimately the captain's exclusive decision whether to land the plane.

Each plane is equipped with resuscitation devices and the crew is trained to provide First Aid.

Last month, a doctor aboard an El Al flight died after insisting his condition was stable and he did not require medical attention.

Earlier this month, an El Al flight traveling from Paris to Tel Aviv was forced to make an emergency landing in the French capital due to problems with one of the plane's engines.

This makes it the fourth time this year that an El Al plane has been forced to make an emergency landing.