Greek plane lands safely in Israel after emergency

Craft apparently suffered a hydraulic problem

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All 167 people - mostly Israeli tourists - on board the HRM 7321 flight from Irakleio in Crete are safe and well at Tel Aviv, the plane's original destination

Ben Gurion international airport (File photo: Reuters) Ben Gurion international airport (File photo: Reuters) A Greek charter plane landed safely in Tel Aviv without anyone being hurt on Thursday after issuing a rare mayday call on its approach to Israel's Ben Gurion international airport.

The Hermes Airline plane, en route from Kazantzakis international airport, in the Crete city of Irakleio, to Tel Aviv, had apparently suffered a hydraulic problem around noon and was forced to take measures for an emergency landing.

All 167 people on board, passengers and crew, were on board the HRM 7321 flight, which departed Irakleio at 10.10am. 

"The plane experienced a problem with its hydraulics as he was approaching the airport and the pilot put out a mayday signal, as he is obliged to do," Theordore Karabakis, quality control manager at Hermes Airlines, told EnetEnglish.

"The plane landed normally and all the passengers disembarked in the normal way," he said.

He added that the plane was now being inspected by technicians from Alitalia, with whom the company has a service contract. 

Tel Aviv was the plane's original destination and was part of its regular flight routine. Most of the passengers were Israeli tourists. 

Mayday signals are rare and security-conscious Israel went on high alert around the airport after Thursday's call.

Israeli media reported that the emergency call prompted large numbers of ambulances and rescue teams to rush to the airport and hospitals were put on standby.

Israeli media had earlier identified the aircraft as a Jordanian passenger plane.

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