Daily Israel Report

El Al Computer Failure Grounds Planes

A computer systems failure temporarily grounded flights from two airlines Monday at Ben Gurion Int'l Airport -- but the cause is unknown.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 1/30/2012, 9:35 PM

Airplane landing at Ben Gurion - illustrative
Airplane landing at Ben Gurion - illustrative
Flash 90

El Al Airlines was grounded at Ben Gurion International Airport Monday night, as officials tried to get its computers back on line. The grounding, though temporary, was due to a failure in the computer system of Israel's national airline.

The cause of the system failure was unknown.

As a result, flights were temporarily delayed, both for El Al arrivals and departures – and for flights on FinnAir Airlines. The Finnish airline, linked to the El Al computer system, was grounded as a result as well.

Although British Airways and Air Berlin also uses the same computer system, however, neither airline was affected by the failure, an airport source said.

Arab hackers last week managed to infiltrate the information home page on El Al's website for a brief span of time. It was the second time this month that cyber terrorists had succeeded in breaching the airline's cyber security.

Israel's Ben Gurion International Airport was not the only place in the world that was paralyzed this Monday, however.

In Belgium, the seat of the European Union, a 24-hour strike led not only to the cancellation of flights from Brussels, but also halted rail and bus service in the country.

The strike, which began at 10 pm local time Sunday night, shut down all public transportation in the nation's capital, as well as most terminals in the Port of Antwerp, and Brussels airport, just as EU leaders were arriving for a summit.