El Al Israel Airlines flight Sofia-Tel Aviv declares emergency

Image Credit: RadarBox

An El Al Israel Airlines flight operating from Sofia to Tel Aviv declared an emergency whilst en route this morning, before diverting to Rodes Island.

El Al flight LY552, a Boeing 737 operating from Sofia Airport (SOF) to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV), declared a general emergency with squawk code 7700 abeam Izmir, before executing a diversion to Rodes Island Diagoras Airport (RHO).

El Al LY552 Sofia – Tel Aviv

The nature of the emergency prompting the unscheduled diversion is not yet known.

Data for this morning’s service shows that flight LY552 made an on-time departure out of Sofia Airport this morning at 11:32 local time, before setting course normally.

Diversion to Rodes Island (RHO)

The flight had climbed to cruising level FL390 (39,000 feet), for the south-easterly route, before declaring a general emergency from the cruise abeam the Turkish city of Izmir.

Flight LY552 then squawked transponder code at 10: 16 UTC, maintaining the emergency squawk for approximately six minutes whilst initiating a diversion to the south for Rodes Island (RHO).

The flight subsequently expedited and an approach before landing at RHO at approximately10:50 UTC.

The aircraft conducting this morning’s LY552 scheduled service to Tel Aviv (TLV) is a Boeing 737-800 registered 4X-EKK; a 9-year old narrowbody aircraft belonging to the carrier El Al Israel Airlines.

The aircraft has been in service with the Israeli airline since February 2020, operating under the name Givat Shmuel.


It is understood that this morning’s diversion was due to a medical emergency onboard, involving one passenger. The flight elected to divert to nearby Rodes Island.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 2 Min Read
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