The world’s main airlines have suspended flights arriving and departing from Israel after the nation declared war after a massive attack by Hamas.
Israel has attacked more than 1,000 targets in Gaza and Palestinian extremists continued to fire volleys of rockets, setting off air raid sirens in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. An online video appeared to show a plume of smoke near a terminal at Ben Gurion International Airport.
Dozens of arriving and departing flights at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport were canceled or delayed, according to the terminal’s online flight board.
American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines They suspended their services after the US government issued travel warnings for the region, citing potential for terrorism and civil unrest.
American suspended service to Tel Aviv until Friday. The airline said it has issued a travel alert that provides additional flexibility to customers whose travel plans are affected.
“We continue to monitor the situation with safety and security in mind and will adjust our operation as necessary,” American said.
United said it allowed two scheduled flights from Tel Aviv on Saturday night and early Sunday and accommodated its traveling customers, crews and employees who were at the airport. Its flights to Tel Aviv will remain suspended until conditions improve.
For its part, Delta canceled its flights to Tel Aviv this week. The airline indicated that it is monitoring the situation and making the corresponding schedule adjustments.
Airlines in Europe and Asia also suspended flights amid the hostilities and offered refunds and waived rebooking fees for passengers.
air France suspended services to Tel Aviv “until further notice” after coordinating with French and Israeli authorities.
“The airline constantly reviews the geopolitical situation in the areas served and overflown by its aircraft in order to guarantee the highest level of flight safety,” Air France stressed on its website.
The German Lufthansawhich stopped flights to and from Tel Aviv until Saturday, reported on Monday that the decision on its planes and those of its subsidiaries was made “due to the still unclear security situation in Israel and after a thorough analysis of the situation”.
The Lufthansa group includes Austrian Airlines, Swiss and Brussels Airlinesin addition to Lufthansa itself.
Hong Kong’s main airline, Cathay Pacific Airwaysreported that it will cancel 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 very closely,” the airline explained on its website, adding that it will provide another update on Friday ahead of its third weekly flight on Sunday to the Israeli city.
Virgin Atlantic It also canceled its service between London Heathrow Airport and Tel Aviv on Monday and Tuesday, as well as the return flight from Tel Aviv to London on Wednesday.
British Airways plans to continue operating flights to Israel “in the coming days with adjusted departure times.” The Dutch KLM will cancel flights to Tel Aviv “up to and including Wednesday.”
(With information from AP)