An El Al Boeing 787-9 has been damaged during an incident in Las Vegas over the weekend. While the aircraft was being towed to a remote parking stand, the trailing edge of its right wing hit a pole.
The Jerusalem Post reports that flight LY21 left Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv on Friday night before landing at McCarran International Airport (LAS). Subsequently, registration 4X-EDH needed to be guided towards the jet bridge.
However, investigations have uncovered that airport staff refused to wait and help the crew on its way. Therefore, the flag carrier of Israel’s Dreamliner crashed into an electric pole at the airport.
Thankfully, there have been no reports of injuries to any crew or passengers at the scene. Although, with the plane suffering such a hit, it had to be grounded for repairs.
This meant that passengers could not board on the return service back to Israel and were instead placed on alternative aircraft. El Al apologized for the inconvenience that the incident caused to its customers.
Moreover, this event will cause difficulties for the airline and its operating schedule as the new year approaches. This unit was only delivered to the carrier a year ago, to assist it with long-haul routes. Other than Las Vegas, regular destinations for this registration include Hong Kong, New York, and Bangkok.
This plane arrived as part of El Al’s fleet upgrade project that saw it receive 13 787 Dreamliners over the last two years. These were brought in to replace the firm’s aging Boeing 747 and 767 jets.
The company stated that it chose to take on this aircraft type as it wants to deliver a comfortable customer experience with innovative technology and quality service. These deliveries are split between 12 787-9s and one 787-8. There is also one more of the latter on order.
The operator has big plans for its new fleet. It is hoping to use the 787s on an ambitious service between Tel Aviv and Melbourne. Following the success of Qantas’ Project Sunrise tests, El Al is hoping to complete three test trips of its own in 2020.
However, unlike the Australian airline’s tests, these flights will be able to be boarded by passengers. Tickets for the 17-18 hour journeys are available now and the flights will span between April and May. Therefore, El Al will be looking to have all of its Dreamliners in top shape by the time the new year starts.
Simple Flying reached out to El Al for comment on the incident at Las Vegas Airport but did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.
What are your thoughts on the accident that happened this weekend? Let us know what you think in the comment section.