European airlines Air France, Lufthansa and Air Berlin have canceled more flights to Tel Aviv July 24 as violence between Israel and Hamas intensified.
Air France announced that they "have decided to suspend our flights to and from Tel Aviv [Ben Gurion Airport] until further notice" in a statement published on their website. The company added that it is closely monitoring developments in the Middle East in real time.
Lufthansa Group said that it was canceling flights to Tel Aviv scheduled for Thursday, a decision that extends to the other carriers owned by the company, namely Germanwings, Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines and Brussels Airlines, partly owned by Lufthansa, in a press release. The largest European airline added that it has no reliable information that "would justify a resumption of flight."
Air Berlin announced on its Twitter account that its flights to Israel on Thursday remain suspended.
Due to the current situation, we have decided not to conduct Tel Aviv flights on July 24th. More information: http://t.co/8cMJY8ygUI— airberlin (@airberlin) 23 июля 2014
Major international airlines including Delta, US Airways, United Airlines, Air France, Austrian Airlines, Swiss Airlines and Lufthansa suspended flights to Israel on Wednesday amid the deteriorating security situation in the country. The decision was made after a rocket fell in the city of Yehud, just 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the country’s main international hub, Ben Gurion Airport.
Russian planes en route to Tel Aviv on Wednesday – Aeroflot’s flight SU504 and Transaero’s flight UN311 – decided to turn back to Moscow.
The FFA ordered US airlines not to fly to or from Ben Gurion Airport "for a period of up to 24 hours" Tuesday and allowed them to restore service Thursday. The European Air Safety Agency (EASA) issued a "strong recommendation" to avoid Ben Gurion Airport until further notice Tuesday.
Earlier this week, 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," AFP reported. Israel's national carrier El Al said it was continuing its flights from and to the country in a statement on its website.
Still underway, Israel's Operation Protective Edge, launched on July 8, is aimed at preventing Hamas from firing rockets from Gaza at Israel as well as destroying tunnels that the Islamist group use to infiltrate and strike Israel.