El Al, Air France Planes Nearly Collide Over Serbia

Near collision on Monday was the result of an apparent air traffic control error in Belgrade.

An El Al airliner nearly collided with an Air France plane in the skies over Belgrade, Serbia, on Monday as a result of an apparent air traffic control error.

The El Al Boeing 777 carrying 120 passengers was en route from Tel Aviv to New York when the Air France jet flew closer to it, reaching a distance of 300 meters from one another.

An alert warning of possible collision sounded on the El Al plane, causing the captain to steer away from the Air France plane and avoid the crash.

"The pilot acted appropriately for this type of situation," said Lior Yavor, senior vice president of operations for El Al. "The passengers, crew or plane were never in any danger. El Al has built its reputation on the subject of security and will never compromise on that."

Less than two weeks ago, two airliners were involved in a near collision in Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel Airports Authority said.

The IAA reported that a landing Lufthansa passenger passed dangerously close to an El Al jetliner about to take off, adding that the two flight controllers implicated in the episode were both reassigned in its wake.

An initial investigation conducted on the day of the near collision concluded that the alleged proximity between the two airliners "did not indicate a safety incident had occurred."