A group of ultra-Orthodox passengers delayed for about 90 minutes the takeoff of a scheduled El Al flight from Kiev to Ben-Gurion Airport last month because their rabbi was late in getting to the airport, according to a passenger on the flight. El Al and its Ukrainian partner have a monopoly on the route.
“The passengers were in their seats. The flight attendants were ordered to close the doors when a Haredi passenger suddenly came running from the back of the plane to the front,” the businessman related. He said the flight was scheduled to take off at 11:35 P.M. on June 19.
According to the passenger who spoke to Haaretz about the incident, about 35 minutes after the scheduled takeoff time the pilot announced that after consulting with Tel Aviv he was instructed to wait for the rabbi, who arrived about an hour later with two or three other ultra-Orthodox men. The rabbi, a man in his 70s, according to the witness, took his seat and told his fellow passengers, “Every delay is for the best.”