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17-hour flight from Australia brings Israelis home

An El Al plane from Melbourne, Australia, touched down Friday morning in Ben Gurion airport.

The flight took 17 hours and 15 minutes, and was El Al’s – and Israel’s – longest-ever direct flight, aside from the flight out to Australia on Thursday, in order to rescue the stranded Israeli citizens and bring them home.

On the return flight to Israel were 180 Israelis who had been stranded in Australia and New Zealand, and who requested to return home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nineteen crew members were on the flight, including eight pilots and 11 stewards and stewardesses, who were in charge of the complex, 40-hour rescue operation.