Airlines Cancel Flights to Israel Amid Conflict Concerns

Following a surprise attack from Palestinian militants that saw thousands of rockets launched into nearby Israeli towns, international airlines have been quick to adjust their flight schedules into Israel. This abrupt move came in the midst of a Jewish holiday and as a direct response to the escalating conflict between Israel and Gaza.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently issued a special bulletin, officially termed as a NOTAM, to pilots and airlines in proximity to Tel Aviv, urging them to exercise “extreme caution.” Highlighting the potential risk, the bulletin emphasized staying in constant contact with air traffic control due to the likelihood of “airspace closures.”

This warning came on the heels of an alert from the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel which advised pilots and airlines to be wary, anticipate delays, and be prudent with fuel calculations.

Saturday witnessed a notable disruption in flight operations. About 16% of flights to Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel’s primary international gateway just outside of Tel Aviv, were canceled. Additionally, 23% faced delays. Numerous flights meant for Israel found themselves redirected to alternate airports globally. Case in point, United Airlines flight 954, which departed from San Francisco, had to divert over Greenland, only to eventually head back to its point of origin.

FlightAware data indicated that major carriers like Delta Air Lines and American Airlines axed their weekend flights to Israel from New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Lufthansa, the German aviation giant, announced a significant curtailment of its Tel Aviv services. A statement from the airline confirmed a solitary flight from Tel Aviv to Frankfurt for the day while all other operations were suspended, citing passenger and crew safety as paramount.

Other major airlines, including Swiss Air, Austrian Airlines, and Turkish Airlines, also canceled their Israel-bound flights, as reported by Israeli news outlet Walla! News. El Al, Israel’s flag carrier, has offered its patrons the flexibility to modify their travel plans without incurring any penalties, underscoring the volatile nature of the situation.

Air Canada meanwhile has indicated it will be cancelling flights to Tel Aviv as of today as a result of the conflict. “We are monitoring this dynamic situation closely and we will adjust these plans as required. We remain in contact with the Canadian government. Air Canada will resume operations to Tel Aviv as soon as the situation stabilizes,” the company said in a statement.

Global Affairs Canada has stated that there are 1,419 Canadians registered with the Registration of Canadians Abroad in Israel and 492 Canadians registered in the Palestinian Territories, however registration is not mandatory, obscuring a full picture.

Information for this briefing was found via CNN, CP24, and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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