NEWS: ISRAEL

FAA suspends U.S. airlines’ flights to Israel

NEW YORK (JTA) — The Federal Aviation Administration prohibited all U.S. airlines from flying to Israel for at least 24 hours.

All three U.S. carriers with nonstop flights to Israel – United, U.S. Airways and Delta Airlines — canceled their flights to Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

El Al, which is not bound by the FAA order issued in the early afternoon Tuesday, said it plans to continue to maintain its normal schedule of up to five daily nonstop flights to Tel Aviv from the United States.

The FAA order came after a rocket fired from Gaza struck and destroyed a home in Yehud, an Israeli town about a mile from Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv.

“Due to the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza, all flight operations to/from Ben Gurion International Airport by U.S. operators are prohibited until further advised,” the notice said.

A slew of other airlines also canceled their flights to Tel Aviv, including Air Canada, Lufthansa, Austria Airlines, Germanwings and Swissair, according to Israeli media reports.

Delta diverted a flight en route to Tel Aviv from New York’s Kennedy Airport on Tuesday. Flight 268, carrying 273 passengers and 17 crew members, instead was sent to Paris.

Delta said it made its decision to suspend all flights to Tel Aviv “in coordination with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration” and “to ensure the safety and security of our customers and employees.”

Korean Air suspended its flights to Tel Aviv last week.

Last week, a Malaysian Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was downed by a missile over the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard.

Posted: 7/22/2014 1:52:40 PM
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