Hundreds of Israelis Stranded Abroad Sunday

Four separate plane malfunctions - in Greece and Italy - keep hundreds of Israelis from returning home after Passover holiday.

Cynthia Blank,

Ben-Gurion International Airport
Ben-Gurion International Airport
Yossi Zeliger/Flash 90

Hundreds of Israelis are stranded abroad on Sunday after four separate flights that were supposed to return to Israel were delayed for various reasons. 

Greek airline company Blue Bird cancelled two flights from Crete to Tel Aviv on Sunday, after discovering a technical failure in one of their planes. 

Just yesterday, on Saturday, another one of Blue Bird's flights to Ben Gurion International Airport was delayed, stranding passengers in Rhodes for ten hours before they could return to Israel. 

"There are a lot of children in the group, and the problem is that every hour they inform us that in another hour they're bringing us to the airport," one of the passengers stranded in Crete told Walla! News. 

It remains unclear when these passengers will return to Israel; they have also not yet received a response from "Vacation Relations" - the company who organized the flights. 

Meanwhile, in Italy, 360 Israeli passengers are stranded at airports in Milan and Rome after two El Al planes traveling back to Tel Aviv were found to be malfunctioning. 

A Boeing 737 intended to take off from Milan Sunday night was hit by a bird causing damage to one of its aircraft systems. The second plane flying from Rome to Tel Aviv, also a Boeing 737, also suffered a technical problem. 

Passengers traveling from both Milan and Rome were evacuated to a hotel, while an Israeli technician was sent to Rome to correct the issue. There is no known time as to when either of these two flights will take off for Ben Gurion Airport. 


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