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Updated: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 07:22:32 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Gaza conflict: Air Canada plane lands in Tel Aviv after circling, report says



Air Canada's Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet arrives at Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Enfield, N.S. on its first commercial flight on May 23, 2014. The Dreamliner is one factor in a jump in stock prices for the airline. Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press

Air Canada's Boeing 787 Dreamliner jet arrives at Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Enfield, N.S. on its first commercial flight on May 23, 2014. The Dreamliner is one factor in a jump in stock prices for the airline. Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press

An Air Canada flight from Toronto to Tel Aviv had to circle before landing Friday to avoid rocket fire in the area, media reports said today.

Al Jazeera reported on its website that, according to flight trackers, Air Canada's flight 84 "appeared to have circled over southern Israel several times on Friday, unable to land in the airport."

The flight from Toronto to Tel Aviv left at 6:17 p.m. ET Thursday and landed at Ben Gurion airport at 12:07 p.m. local time, according to Flight Track. The scheduled landing was 12:05 p.m..

The airline's experience may not have been unusual, however.

"Flights have been told to circle over the Mediterranean to wait for several weeks now," CBC correspondent Sasa Petricic said from Jerusalem. "It happened to me and several others I know. The patterns have also been moved so that planes fly in from the north."

Air Canada said it was looking into the report.

The airline resumed its Tel Aviv flights Thursday after the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration lifted its ban on all flights to Ben Gurion airport late Wednesday.

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"This decision is based on our own assessment, and that of regulators of the situation and in consultation with others in the airline community," Air Canada had said in a statement Thursday morning.

"The safety of our passengers and crew is our first priority and we will continue to monitor developments very closely."

Regarding its earlier lifting of the ban, the FAA said: "Before making this decision, the FAA worked with its U.S. government counterparts to assess the security situation in Israel and carefully reviewed both significant new information and measures the Government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation."

The ban was initially instituted on Tuesday, after a rocket hit about two kilometres from the boundaries of the airport. The FAA extended that ban for a second day earlier on Wednesday.

On both Tuesday and Wednesday, Air Canada, the only Canadian carrier that flies to Israel, cancelled its daily flight from Toronto to Tel Aviv.

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