Several airlines including Air India suspend flights to Israel amidst escalating conflict, ET TravelWorld
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Several airlines including Air India suspend flights to Israel amidst escalating conflict, ET TravelWorld

Several international air carriers have taken the precautionary measure of suspending flight services to Tel Aviv in response to the recent Hamas militant attack on Israel. These airlines are awaiting improved safety conditions before resuming operations.

Hamas militants conducted a devastating attack on Saturday, resulting in the tragic loss of 700 lives and the abduction of numerous individuals. This attack marked the deadliest incursion since the Yom Kippur war, which occurred 50 years ago. In retaliation, Israel launched strikes on the Gaza Strip.

Air India, in response to the ongoing Hamas offensive, has suspended its operations to and from Delhi-Tel Aviv until October 14. The airline operates five weekly flights connecting the national capital to Tel Aviv, with services scheduled for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

An Air India spokesperson stated, “Our flights to and from Tel Aviv will remain suspended until October 14, 2023, in the interest of the safety of our passengers and crew. Air India is committed to providing full support to passengers who hold confirmed bookings on flights during this period.”

In light of the situation, Minister of State for External Affairs, V. Muraleedharan, reassured Indian citizens in Israel that they can contact the Indian embassy for any assistance they may require.

Additionally, US-based air carriers United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines announced the suspension of their direct flights to Tel Aviv, as did Air France. These airlines typically operate direct services from major US cities, including New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, and Miami.

American Airlines union tells pilots to refuse to fly to Israel

The head of American Airlines pilots union has advised members not to fly to Israel until the situation is deemed safe. This follows the declaration of war in the region over the weekend. The Allied Pilots Association President referred to a US State Department travel advisory warning of unpredictable conditions and the potential for mortar and rocket fire.

United Airlines, in a statement, explained that it had conducted two scheduled flights from Israel to the United States late on Saturday and early on Sunday. However, services have been suspended “until conditions allow them to resume.” Delta Air Lines indicated that flights “have been cancelled into this week” while they closely monitor the situation and make necessary scheduling adjustments.Hainan Airlines, the sole Chinese airline providing flights between China and Israel, cancelled its Tel Aviv-Shanghai routes on Monday, citing security concerns in Israel. The airline also offers services between Beijing and Tel Aviv, as well as between Shenzhen and Tel Aviv, and has stated that future flight plans will be adjusted according to the evolving situation.

Cathay Pacific also cancelled its flight between Hong Kong and Tel Aviv on Tuesday. The airline intends to provide further updates regarding its next scheduled flight, which is currently planned for Thursday.

Korean Air cancelled its Monday flight between the port city of Incheon and Tel Aviv and anticipates that future flights will experience irregular schedules due to the current situation.

  • Published On Oct 9, 2023 at 12:00 PM IST

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