Photographer's Note

This is ELY005 a Boeing 777 belonging to El Al - the national airline of Israel - passing overhead my balcony in downtown Lund, southern Sweden, at 4:23 AM local time (02:23 UTC). It's just the right time to catch the reflection of the morning sun, which yet hasn't quite reached the lower clouds.

At FL340 (34'000ft/10.350M) and with a speed of 483 knots it passes en route from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles. All this I know from a radar site showing most aircraft in real time, referred to by saxo042 (Gunnar Holmertz).

Of course working 30 years in Air Traffic Control does matter for understanding, but I haven't been working in the upper airspace (above FL245) since before 1990 and I've been retired for 6 years. This means I haven't been updated on the current air routes.

I was aware of the increasing traffic coming from the Far East in the morning hours, on the whole following routes from Russia via the Baltic States toward the major cities in Western Europe. Routes established after the fall of the Soviet Union.

But the endeavor to save time, fuel and environment has created totally new routes following the concept Single European Sky. Allowing aircraft to navigate more or less along Great Circle Arcs - the shortest route between two places on earth make the El Al airline cross the other traffic just overhead my balcony in Lund. I find that remarkable!

El Al [אל על‎] means "to the skies" or "skywards" in Hebrew.

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Additional Photos by Kaj Nordstrom (kajenn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 539 W: 240 N: 849] (2454)
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