Daily Israel Report

El Al to Move Flights to IDF Base If Iran Attacks: Report

Israel’s El Al airlines will move its flights to military bases in the event of a war with Iran, reports the Maariv newspaper. El Al denies.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 3/6/2012, 12:57 PM

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

Israel’s national air carrier El Al will move its flights to military bases in the event of a war with Iran, according to the Hebrew-language Maariv newspaper.

Company executives reportedly met in an urgent discussion to deal with wartime scenarios as the Israeli government repeatedly warns that “time is running out” for a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

An El Al spokesman claimed that the report is “baseless” but did not say what the airline would do in case of war. He added that if a discussion of the subject had indeed been held, the company would not have commented on it.

Ben Gurion International Airport is located on the edge of the metropolitan Tel Aviv area, which would be a likely target by Iran in the event of war.

If Iranian missiles were to rain down on the airport, El Al would move its flights to the Air Force base at Nevatim, near Be’er Sheva, the newspaper stated. The base’s runways can accommodate international jets, and the government has already proposed converting the military facility into a second civilian international air base to relieve the crowded Ben Gurion airport.

The base already has instrument landing systems for guiding aircraft, and all El Al would need to do is to set up computerized and telecom systems.