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      El Al, Air France Planes Avoid Near Air Collision

      An El-Al passenger jet bound for New York nearly collided with an Air France plane over Serbia. Israeli pilot saves the day.
      By Malkah Fleisher
      First Publish: 12/29/2009, 10:54 PM / Last Update: 12/29/2009, 11:13 PM

      Israel news photo (file)

      In a week beset with scares in the air, an El Al passenger jet bound for New York on Monday nearly collided with an Air France plane over Serbia, according to a report by Israel's Channel 2 news.

      Serbian authorities report the two planes were just 300 meters from crashing into each other due to air controllers in Belgrade accidentally placing them on the same flight path. Just before the planes were about to crash, emergency alarms alerted both pilots, with the El Al pilot quickly changing course to avert disaster.

      The El-Al Boeing 777, its crew, and all 120 passengers landed at their destination safely. El Al has heaped praise on the pilot, reaffirming its commitment to safety and security on board its flights, in a statement issued following the incident.

      Aviation authorities in Serbia have launched an investigation into the near accident.