In response to recent security concerns following a Hamas militant attack, several international airlines have taken the precautionary measure of suspending their flight services to Tel Aviv, Israel. The safety of crew members and passengers remains a top priority, with airlines intending to resume operations once conditions improve.
US Carriers Ground Flights:
Prominent U.S. air carriers, including United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines, have announced the suspension of their direct flights to Tel Aviv. These airlines typically operate direct services from major cities such as New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Miami.
The pilots’ union of American Airlines has issued a directive to its members, advising them to decline flights to Israel due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza. Union President Ed Sicher emphasized that pilot safety should be prioritized, aligning with the U.S. State Department’s advisory highlighting the unpredictable nature of the situation in Israel. The advisory specifically mentions the constant threat of mortar and rocket fire without warning, posing a significant risk to aircraft.
United Airlines conducted two scheduled flights from Israel to the United States over the weekend but has suspended services until conditions allow for safe resumption.
Delta Air Lines has canceled flights for the upcoming week as it closely monitors the situation and makes necessary schedule adjustments.
Chinese Carrier Takes Precautions:
Hainan Airlines, the sole Chinese airline offering flights between China and Israel, has canceled its flights between Tel Aviv and Shanghai, citing security concerns. The airline also operates routes between Beijing and Tel Aviv, as well as Shenzhen and Tel Aviv, and plans to adjust future flight plans based on the evolving situation.
Cathay Pacific’s Response:
Cathay Pacific announced the cancellation of its flight between Hong Kong and Tel Aviv and intends to provide further updates regarding the status of its next flight, scheduled for Thursday.
Korean Air’s Safety Measures:
Korean Air canceled its Monday flight connecting the port city of Incheon with Tel Aviv. The airline expects future flights to be irregular as they assess the situation and prioritize passenger safety.
The recent Hamas militant attack resulted in the deaths of 700 Israelis and the abduction of dozens, marking the deadliest incursion since the Yom Kippur war 50 years ago. In response, Israel initiated a retaliatory campaign, targeting the Palestinian enclave of Gaza. Airlines are closely monitoring the situation and will resume services once the safety and security of flights to Tel Aviv can be assured.