Following the surprise large-scale strike against Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas this past weekend, major airlines canceled scores of flights to Tel Aviv.
American Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa, Emirates, Ryanair, and Aegean Airlines were among the airlines that cancelled flights, according to the arrivals board at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.
The second international airport in Israel and a popular tourist destination on the Red Sea is Eilat, but airport authorities did not halt commercial air links with it.
“Given the current security situation in Tel Aviv, Lufthansa is cancelling all flights to and from Tel Aviv up until and including Monday, a spokesman for the German carrier told AFP.
The airline was “monitoring the security situation in Israel,” he added.
Brussels Airline, part of the Lufthansa group, also cancelled its Tel Aviv flights.
Air France said it had halted Tel Aviv flights “until further notice”.
“Commercial measures are in place, allowing customers to postpone or cancel their trip free of charge”, an Air France spokesman said.
Transavia, a low-cost airline operated by the Air France-KLM group, made a statement announcing the cancellation of all flights from Paris and Lyon to Tel Aviv through Monday.
Iberia Express, the Spanish airline’s low-cost division, stated that it would cease operating flights to Tel Aviv.
In order to “protect the safety of passengers and crew,” Italy’s national airline, ITA airways, postponed its departure until Sunday am at the earliest.
Polish airline LOT announced in Warsaw that it has canceled all flights departing from the nation’s capital on Saturday.