Ryanair denies any near miss between one of its Boeing 737 passenger airplanes and two Israeli Air Force F-16 fighter jets.
On Mar. 1, 2016 two Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-16 Fighting Falcons involved in a training exercise over the Negev desert converged on the flight path of a Ryanair Boeing 737 on landing approach at Ovda airport in Israel.
Several media outlets claimed that the two IAF fighter jets came “dangerously close” to the Ryanair aircraft, which had 162 passengers on board, and that a mid-air collision was prevented only thanks to the airliner pilot who changed the course of his aircraft at the very last moment.
But as reported by TimesofIsrael.com, Ryanair denied any claim of a near-miss.
According to the airline, the flight from Krakow to Ovda was cruising at 27,000 ft in Israeli airspace when the aircrew noticed two IAF F-16s climbing towards their flight path. As pointed out by a Ryanair statement, the two fighters remained at “3 miles away from the aircraft, so the reports of a ‘nearly crash’ or ‘evasive manoeuvres’ are all false and invented.”
The airline also added that the Ryanair aircrew alerted the Air Traffic Control which vectored the F-16s away from their Boeing 737.
“All passengers on board the Ryanair aircraft noticed nothing, since our aircraft never diverted from its cleared flight path to Ovda.”
Although no injures or damages were reported, Israel’s Transportation Ministry and the Israeli Air Force will investigate the matter.
Image credit: Israeli Air Force