Top airlines cancel Tel Aviv flights

2014-07-22 21:16
A departure board at the Philadelphia International Airport shows that US Airways Flight 796 to Tel Aviv has been cancelled.  (Matt Rourke, AP)

A departure board at the Philadelphia International Airport shows that US Airways Flight 796 to Tel Aviv has been cancelled. (Matt Rourke, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Washington - Major US, European and Canadian airlines cancelled flights to and from Israel on Tuesday after a rocket fired from Gaza struck near its main international airport in Tel Aviv.

The cancellations highlighted heightened worldwide fears of a rocket hitting a passenger jet in the wake of last week's downing of a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 over rebel-held eastern Ukraine with nearly 300 on board.

That incident underscored the vulnerability of commercial aircraft to surface-to-air missiles, even at cruising altitudes in excess of 30 000 feet.

In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) banned US airlines from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport for at least 24 hours, citing the ongoing crisis in Gaza.

Delta, US Airways and United Airlines heeded the order, with Delta diverting a Tel Aviv-bound Boeing 747 with 273 passengers and 17 crew on board to Paris.

"Due to the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza, all flight operations to/from Ben Gurion International Airport by US operators are prohibited until further advised," said the FAA's Notice to Airmen, or Notam, issued shortly after 16:00 GMT.

"This Notam will be updated within 24 hours," it added.

In an accompanying press statement, the FAA said it had immediately notified US carriers when it learned of the rocket strike.

Deputy state department spokesperson Marie Harf said it was likely that the flight ban could be extended beyond 24 hours.

Air France said it was cancelling its Tel Aviv flights "until further notice." Lufthansa said it was doing likewise, for 72 hours. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines suspended its services as well, citing "security reasons".

Lufthansa explained that it was suspending its Tel Aviv service "for the security of passengers and crew" amid the "unstable situation" near the airport.

Air Canada also cancelled service to and from Tel Aviv on Tuesday, and said on Twitter it would "continue to evaluate going forward & update."

British Airways and its low-cost rival EasyJet, however, maintained their flights.

"We continue to operate as normal," a British Airways spokesperson said. "Safety and security are our highest priorities and we continue to monitor the situation closely."

Rocket strike 

Prompting the rush of cancellations was a rocket fired from Gaza which, according to Israeli police, struck north of the airport.

"A house was damaged in a rocket strike in the Kiryat Ono Yehud region, several kilometres from the airport," police spokesperson Luba Samri told AFP.

Delta said it had diverted the Tel Aviv-bound flight after "reports of a rocket or associated debris" near Ben Gurion Airport.

"Delta, in co-ordination with the US Federal Aviation Administration, is doing so to ensure the safety and security of our customers and employees," it said in a statement.

US Airways meanwhile told AFP in a Twitter exchange it had cancelled its flights on Tuesday between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv "in response to security concerns" at the airport in Tel Aviv.

And United said: "We're suspending operations to/from Tel Aviv until further notice. We'll continue to evaluate the situation."

United was more discreet on its website, where it said its two flights Tuesday to Tel Aviv from Newark airport outside New York had been "cancelled due to aircraft availability."

Delta, which links Tel Aviv with New York's John F Kennedy International Airport, said it was "working to re-accommodate" passengers on its Paris-diverted flight.


Read more on:    air france  |  lufthansa  |  british airways  |  klm  |  israel  |  us  |  mh17  |  gaza  |  air travel
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Human resource assistant

Brackenfell
Kontak Recruitment
R5 000 - R10 000 Per Month

Debtors & Creditors clerk/ Office Administrator

Gardens Oranjezicht
Bee painters & waterproofers
R10 000 - R12 000 Per Month

Java Developer

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R35 000 - R45 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the surface...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.