Hamas attack in Israel: many airlines suspend their connections to Tel Aviv

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A majority of airlines have temporarily suspended their flights to Tel Aviv after the surprise attack carried out by Hamas against Israel last Saturday.

On Sunday, US airlines United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines announced they had suspended direct flights to Tel Aviv from major cities including New York, Chicago, Washington and Miami. In Europe, Air France, Transavia, Lufthansa Group (with SWISS, Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines), Finnair, LOT Polish Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Aegean, easyJet, Wizz Air, etc. have all temporarily suspended their Israeli services. As well as Air India, Turkish Airlines, Pegasus and Hainan Airlines, the only Chinese company to operate flights between China and Israel, which has canceled its connection between Shanghai and Tel Aviv until further notice.

From London, Virgin Atlantic said it had suspended its flights to Tel Aviv until Wednesday and would adjust its flight schedule in the coming days. for his part, British Airways has changed its daily flights from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv so that they depart in the morning instead of the afternoon to avoid crews spending the night in Israel. Ryanair has also changed its schedule serving Israel.

For its part, the Israeli national airline EL AL fully maintains its flight schedule. But its return flights from abroad to Tel Aviv are all full, places on board being given priority to reservists called to return home to join the army. Cyprus Airways, the Cypriot airline, continues to operate its Lacarna-Tel Aviv route normally and is even considering increasing its capacity to meet demand. Departing from Dubai, flyDubai also normally serves Tel Aviv. For Cyprus Airways and flyDubai, Tel Aviv is a regional destination, planes land and take off there quickly, which reduces risks for crews.

According to the air data provider Cirium, 6,711 flights were initially scheduled to depart and arrive from Israeli territory in October 2023, therefore 22% operated by El AL.

Regulators, including the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the Israeli Aviation Authority, have called on the companies airlines to exercise caution when crossing the region’s airspace, without going so far as to ban flights. EASA has asked European airlines to ensure that a “robust risk assessment is in place, as well as a high level of contingency planning” when they fly over Israeli airspace.

The Israel Airports Authority said on its website that Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport continued to handle arrivals and departures, but the Israel Civil Aviation Authority said it had changed some flight routes, warning of delays. possible and advised airlines to calculate fuel consumption accordingly. Yesterday, a salvo of rockets fired by Hamas at Tel Aviv had no impact on Ben Gurion Airport, assured a spokesperson for the airport authority, explaining that there had been an interception of rocket in mid-flight and a possible impact in a neighboring village.

The Israeli Ministry of Tourism has opened a “virtual office” for the attention of tourists to inform them of the situation on site. Requests are made through the WhatsApp application only at +972-55-972-6931 or via this email [email protected].

John Walker Avatar