Industry Insights

Major International Airlines Cancel Flights to Israel

Last Saturday, any leading international airlines cancelled their flights from in and out of Israel’s capital, Tel Aviv, due to the conflict with Hamas and rising attacks on Gaza. About 16% of flights were cancelled and 23% were delayed to Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel’s international hub, located outside Tel Aviv. As of Sunday, about 50% of flights were cancelled and a third were cancelled as of Monday, according to Flightradar24, a flight tracking website.

More than 1,000 targets have been hit by Israel in Gaza as Palestinian militants continued to launch barrages of rockets, setting off alerts for air raids in the cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

According to Al Jazeera, the major airlines involved are American Airlines, Air Canada, Air France, Delta Air Lines, Egypt Air, Emirates, Finland’s Finnair, Dutch carrier KLM, Germany’s Lufthansa, Norwegian Air, Portugal’s TAP, Polish carrier LOT, Ryanair and United Airlines. They were among those suspending or reducing flights to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport. Other airlines are continuing their operations but at the same time, they are monitoring the situation.

From the FlightAware data, it showed that Delta Air Lines and American Airlines have been canceling their flights since last Saturday. Other airlines that are flying from China, Hong Kong and South Korea also cancelled flights to Tel Aviv.

In Europe, Air France, TAP of Portugal, and Finnair of Finland all halted direct flights. This week, Norwegian Air and Ryanair both canceled their flights from Copenhagen and Stockholm to Tel Aviv. Ryanair’s cancellations continued through Wednesday.

As for Russia, they restricted flights to Israel before 0900 GMT due to an “unstable political and military situation” and recommended airlines check for dangers during daytime hours.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) also does not operate flights to Tel Aviv, as the PAL spokesperson said that they do not use Israeli airspace for any of their flights. “In view of the volatile security situation in Israel, the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv strongly recommends that all travel from the Philippines to Israel be postponed indefinitely, or until such time that the situation has stabilized,” the embassy said in a post on its Facebook account late Sunday.

Hong Kong’s main carrier, Cathay Pacific Airways, said that “in view of the latest situation in Israel,” it was canceling its Tel Aviv flights 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 said on its website, adding it would provide updates on the site. Despite all Chinese airlines canceling their flights, Hainan Airlines is the only one that flies between China and Israel. Hainan said that it would continue flights linking Beijing and the southern tech hub of Shenzhen with Tel Aviv.

Source: Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, Today Online, Rappler

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button