MOSCOW, July 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russian flagship carrier Aeroflot has decided to turn back flight number 504 which was bound for Tel Aviv amid deteriorating security situation in Israel, a representative of the company said Tuesday.
“The U-turn was carried out in the airspace above the Black Sea. The flight to Israel, which was scheduled for Wednesday morning, has been preliminarily postponed to 3:00 p.m. [local time, 11:00 GMT],” the Aeroflot representative said.
Another Russian airline, Transaero, also ordered to return flight number 311 that was en-route to Israel's capital back to Moscow. The company also cancelled all Wednesday’s flights to Israel.
Earlier in the day, a number of major US and European airlines suspended flights to Israel, including Delta, US Airways, United Airlines, Air France, Austrian Airlines, Swiss Airlines and Lufthansa.
The decision was made following a warning from the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), as well as its European counterpart, after a rocket fell in the city of Yehud, just five kilometers (three miles) from Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.
The FFA ordered US airlines not to fly to or from Ben Gurion Airport "for a period of up to 24 hours." The European Air Safety Agency (EASA) issued a “strong recommendation” to avoid Tel Aviv airport until further notice.
Israel called on the airlines not to cancel the flights. The country's Transport Minister Yisrael Katz said there was no reason to “yield to terrorism,” according to Agence France-Presse. Israel's national carrier El Al said it was continuing its flights from and to the country.
Clashes between Israel and Palestine are now into their third week.
Israel started its Protective Edge operation on July 8 in response to Palestinian increased rockets attacks. Ten days later, the Israeli Army launched a ground offensive aiming to destroy Hamas rocket launchers and underground tunnels that Palestinian militants use to strike Israel.