Published On: Wed, Jul 23rd, 2014

All foreign carriers suspend Ben Gurion flights


Only El Al, Arkia and Israir are flying to and from Tel Aviv today.

FLIGHT,    Travel,    airplane,    tourism,    illustration

All foreign carriers have suspended flights in and out of Ben Gurion International airport. Only the three Israeli carriers El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL), Arkia Airlines Ltd. and Israir Airlines and Tourism Ltd. are continuing routine operations.

After a Hamas rocket hit a house in Yehud near the airport yesterday the US Federal Aviation Administration ordered a 24-hour halt to flights in and out of Ben Gurion and the European authorities quickly followed. All the major foreign carriers announced the halting of flights.

One of the last to do so was UK low cost carrier EasyJet plc which put out a statement last night, “The safety and security of easyJet’s passengers and crew is the airline’s highest priority. Due to the FAA’s instruction to all United States’ airlines to suspend their flights to Israel easyJet is suspending its services to and from Tel Aviv for 24 hours and as a result will not be operating Luton/Tel Aviv/Luton and Basel/Tel Aviv/Basel flights on Wednesday July 23. Thereafter, easyJet will review its operations to and from Israel on a day by day basis taking into account the advice from all relevant authorities.”

easyJet added that it, “will do all it can to look after our passengers. easyJet will try to provide suitable and secure hotel accommodation for affected passengers and will fly affected passengers home as soon as we can.”

Israeli officials expressed anger over the decision and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked US Secretary of State John Kerry to work towards restoring US flights to and from Israel.

An Arkia official told “IDF Radio” (Galei Zahal) that with Thursday being the busiest day at Ben Gurion Airport, Israeli carriers would struggle to pick up the entire slack if the foreign carriers do not resume flights by tomorrow.

Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz has proposed that foreign carriers use Uvda Airport in the Negev but the airlines have yet to agree.

 

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com

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