Flights to Israel cancelled

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The US aviation authority FAA announced on Tuesday that no flights to Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv would be allowed for 24 hours. This restriction applied to all US airlines. Earlier, Delta Airlines cancelled all its flights to Israel after a missile strike in the vicinity of Tel Aviv airport. A number of European airlines, including KLM, have now also cancelled flights.

Missile strike

Israeli police confirmed the missile impact near the airport. According to spokeswoman Luba Samri, the rocket hit a house, injuring one Israeli citizen. After the plane crash in Ukraine last Thursday, airlines and passengers have become very concerned about safety.

European airlines follow FAA advice

The missile impact led to the FAA imposing the flight restriction. US Airlines and United Airlines followed Delta Airlines' example and cancelled all its flights to Israel on Tuesday. Two planes on their way to Tel Aviv were diverted landed in Paris instead. This decision was taken after reports surfaced of a missile impact near Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv.

KLM also cancelled its Tel Aviv flight that was scheduled for Tuesday evening. Whether KLM will resume operation to Tel Aviv within the next two days is still unknown; the airline has indicated it plans on monitoring the situation daily. KLM's website does mention that flights to Israel between 9 July and 15 August can be rebooked.

Other European airlines such as Lufthansa, Air France, EasyJet, Swissair and the Brussels Airlines won't fly to Tel Aviv in the coming days.

Israel´s response

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pleaded with US Secretary of State John Kerry to allow air traffic between the two countries to be resumed. The Israeli Ministry of Transport has announced it believes the airport to be safe. The White House confirmed that it will work at resuming air traffic as soon as possible, but also indicated it stands by the FAA's decision. The US government will evaluate the situation per 24 hours.

Written by: Team