Air Canada flight to Tel Aviv told to alter course until it's safe to land

TORONTO – An Air Canada flight to Tel Aviv had to perform a “go-round” over southern Israel until it received confirmation that it was safe to land, an airline spokeswoman said Friday amid reports Hamas fired three rockets at the city’s airport.

Airline spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur said Flight AC84 was advised to do so by Israel’s air traffic control shortly before noon, local time.

“Our pilots altered course following ATC’s instructions and landed 10 minutes later safely, without incident, at 12:07 local.”

The return flight AC85 to Toronto departed two hours later as scheduled.

NBC News reported Hamas fired three rockets at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport Friday morning, but said there was no word of damage at the site. The report said the airport’s passenger hall emptied at the sound of sirens.

Local media said the country’s Defence Ministry confirmed the Iron Dome — a military air defence system that uses radar-guided missiles to intercept incoming rockets — had intercepted two rockets over the Tel Aviv area.

Arthur did not specify why the plane was asked to perform the “standard go-around”, and referred questions on ground conditions at the airport to Canadian officials. Friday evening’s flight from Toronto to Tel Aviv will go ahead as scheduled, Arthur said.

Air Canada (TSX:AC.B) and a number of U.S. and European airlines suspended flights to Tel Aviv on Tuesday, after a rocket landed less than two kilometres from the city’s airport.

Many of the airlines resumed flights to Israel on Thursday.