Many airlines halt flights to Israel over safety
New York, July 22, 2014
A number of international airlines have suspended their flights to Israel to ensure passenger safety as the turmoil in the region has intensified.
US air carriers Delta Air Lines and United Airlines said in separate statements that they have suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv "until further notice."
Air France, German carrier Lufthansa and Dutch airliner KLM also announced that they will suspend flights to Tel Aviv for security reasons.
However, Israel's Civil Aviation Authority said it was workign with US Federal Aviation Administration to ensure that the Ben Gurion Airport is safe for foreign carriers.
Atlanta-based Delta said it was operating in coordination with the US Federal Aviation Administration "to ensure the safety of our customers and employees."
The flight stoppages came after Hamas, the militant group that dominates in the Gaza Strip, and its allies fired more rockets into Israel, triggering sirens in Tel Aviv. One hit a town on the fringes of Ben-Gurion International Airport, lightly injuring two people, officials said.
Meanwhile, Casey Norton, a spokesman for American Airlines, said an inbound and outbound flight operated by its US Airways unit between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv were cancelled.
Esther Castiel, who heads US Airways' operations in Tel Aviv, said the FAA had "issued a request not to travel to Israel. All US carriers are stopping."
She added that it was not clear whether the travel halt was for one day or more.
The FAA did not immediately have a comment on the matter. - Reuters