Major airlines suspended their flights to and from Israel after the crisis The nation declared war After the violent attack launched by Hamas.
Israel bombed more than a thousand targets in Gaza and Palestinian militants continued to fire a barrage of rockets, setting off sirens in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. A video posted online shows a plume of smoke near a lounge at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.
Dozens of flights arriving and departing from Ben Gurion Airport were canceled or delayed, according to the airport’s electronic flight board, which also showed a steady flow of flights. Most of them were operated by Israel’s national airline El Al along with others by regional airlines such as Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines and Greece’s Blue Bird Airlines.
American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines suspended services after the US State Department issued travel warnings for the region citing the potential for acts of terrorism and civil unrest.
American suspends services to Tel Aviv until Friday and the airline said it has issued a travel alert providing additional flexibility to customers whose travel plans have been affected.
“We continue to monitor the situation with safety and security in mind and will adjust our operations as needed,” American said.
United said it allowed two scheduled flights from Tel Aviv late Saturday and Sunday morning and accommodated its traveling customers, crews and employees who were at the airport. The airline said its flights to Tel Aviv will remain suspended until conditions improve.
Delta said its flights to Tel Aviv were canceled this week. The airline said it is monitoring the situation and making adjustments to the schedule accordingly. The company said customers whose flights were canceled or who want to change their Tel Aviv ticket should check the Delta app or website or contact Delta Reservations to make adjustments.
Airlines in Europe and Asia have also suspended flights amid the hostilities, offering refunds and waiving rebooking fees to passengers.
Air France said it had suspended its services to Tel Aviv “until further notice” after coordination with the French and Israeli authorities.
“The airline constantly monitors the geopolitical situation in the areas its aircraft serve and fly over in order to ensure the highest level of aviation safety,” Air France said on its website.
German carrier Lufthansa, which suspended its flights to and from Tel Aviv until Saturday, said on Monday that the decision regarding its planes and those of its subsidiaries was taken “due to the evolving security situation that remains unclear in Israel and after an extensive analysis of the situation.”
The Lufthansa Group includes Austrian Airlines, Swiss Air and Brussels Airlines as well as Lufthansa itself.
Hong Kong’s main airline, Cathay Pacific Airways, said that “in light of the recent situation in Israel” it had canceled its flights to Tel Aviv scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday.
“The safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority. We will continue to monitor the situation closely,” the airline said on its website, adding that it would provide another update on Friday before its third weekly flight on Sunday to the Israeli city.
Virgin Atlantic canceled its service between London Heathrow Airport and Tel Aviv on Monday and Tuesday, as well as part of that route on Wednesday.
Budget airline Wizz Air, which flies to Israel from Abu Dhabi and more than two dozen airports in Europe, said it had canceled all flights to and from Tel Aviv “until further notice.”
British discount airline EasyJet said that “due to the evolving situation in Israel,” it had decided to “temporarily suspend its operations” by canceling its flights on Monday from London Luton and Manchester airports to Tel Aviv.
“Our thoughts are with those affected, and the safety and security of our passengers and crew is always easyJet’s top priority,” easyJet said in a statement.
British Airways said it plans to continue operating its flights to Israel “in the coming days, with departure times modified.”
Dutch airline KLM said it would cancel its flights to Tel Aviv “until Wednesday.”
Associated Press Business Writer Kelvin Chan contributed to this report from London. AP writer Geir Moulson contributed from Berlin. AP Writer David McHugh contributed from Frankfurt.
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