Fuel contamination brings flights to a halt at Ben-Gurion Airport
Foreign airlines in need of refueling have been instructed to land in Cyprus as all outbound flights are halted; Arkia Airlines cancels all flights until further notice from the airport.
Flights out of Ben-Gurion International airport were halted on Thursday after a contaminated fuel supply was discovered. The halting of departures and rerouting of foreign airliners in need of refueling is expected to cause massive flight delays.
According to a report received by Haaretz, foreign airliners in need of refueling have been instructed to land in Cyprus instead.
The Paz Aviation Assets firm that provides the fuel to Ben-Gurion International Airport alerted airport authorities of the contamination, prompting airport manager Shmuel Kandel to order all refueling be stopped.
Airport spokesman Adar Avisar said the contamination had been discovered early enough in the day to ensure that no plane had departed with fuel that might have been contaminated.
"There are no planes in the air that have received an order to land," he said.
The airline Arkia announced that all flights within Israel as well as international ones have been cancelled until further notice from the airport.
Thousands of passengers, many of them frustrated, were stuck at the airport due to the halted flights.
Yishai Lisker, whose family of five was supposed to fly out on Thursday for a bar-mitzvah said "at the moment, no one can tell me if the flight is still on or if its cancelled, or weather or not we will get out money back."
Substandard fuel supplies have caused flight delays in Ben-Gurion airport in the past, with one such occurrence arresting refueling operation for a whole day.