Financial News

  • 23 July 2014, 23:41

Major Airlines Suspend Flights To Israel

Major airlines from the US, Europe and Canada are refusing to fly to and from Israel after a rocket fired from Gaza landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion international airport.

Delta and United Airlines suspended services between the US and Israel, while the UK's easyJet, Germany's Lufthansa, and Air France also grounded flights.

Delta Air Lines' chief executive said on CNBCon Wednesday its service into Israel would remain cancelled for now.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is meanwhile preparing to announce if its 24-hour ban on flights to Tel Aviv will be renewed.

The cancellations began on Tuesday after a Delta Air Lines flight to Tel Aviv was diverted to Paris because a rocket fired from Gaza landed near Israel's busiest air hub.

The FAA cited in its ban the "potentially hazardous situation" caused by the ongoing conflict in the region.

The European Aviation Safety Agency then recommended all European airlines avoid Tel Aviv "until further notice".

Israel's Transportation Ministry insisted the airport was safe and the flight ban would "hand terror a prize".

Defiant former New York Mayor Michael Bloombergsaid he would fly into Tel Aviv with Israeli airline El Al on Tuesday night.

He said the FAA ban would deliver "Hamas an undeserved victory".

Not all airlines heeded the ban - British Airways said its twice-daily service to Tel Aviv would continue.

Despite the advisory, Secretary of State John Kerry flew into Israel's main airport to continue the push for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

He is meeting Israel's prime minister, the Palestinian Authority's president and the United Nations chief in a day-long visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah.

The Palestinian leadership says it has proposed a truce to mediators aimed at halting the violence.

The flight cancellations came as Israel continued its offensive in Gaza.

Israel launched a major offensive on July 8 in Gaza to stop Hamas militants firing rockets over the border.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 2,000 missiles at Israel, but many have been intercepted by its US-funded Iron Dome defence system.

More than 650 Palestinians, many of them women and children, as well as 29 Israeli soldiers and two civilians, have been killed in the conflict.

Advertisement