Daily Israel Report

US and European Airlines Suspend Flights to Israel

Rocket strike near airport leads American flight agency to temporarily ban travel to Ben-Gurion Airport.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 7/22/2014, 6:29 PM

Airplane (illustrative)
Airplane (illustrative)
Flash 90

American airlines temporarily halted flights to and from Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport Tuesday following a rocket strike in the area. According to some reports, the change is due to a decision from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

A rocket hit a home in the city of Yehud, near the airport, on Tuesday morning. Having failed to cause significant casualties due to Israel's extensive defense systems, Gaza terrorists have focused rocket fire on the area in hopes of disrupting Israeli air travel.

Shortly after that development was announced Lufthansa, Germany's largest airline, also temporarily cancelled flights to and from the Jewish state for the next 38 hours du to "security concerns". Austria Airlines, Germanwings and Swiss Airlines have also suspended flights to Israel, though it is not clear for how long.

Delta Airlines, United Airlines and other American companies subsequently announced that they will suspend their flights to and from Israel. A Delta Airlines flight that was en route to Israel was rerouted following the Tuesday morning attack.

A U.S. Airways flight that was to leave Israel for America on Tuesday evening was cancelled.

Israeli flight officials are reportedly working to convince their American counterparts not to ban flights to Ben-Gurion.

The cancellations come at a particularly sensitive time, following a missile attack on a plane near the Russian-Ukraine border last week. The plane was shot down, and all 295 passengers and staff were killed.

Israel's counter-terror operation in Gaza, Operation Protective Edge, has reduced the frequency of rocket attacks on Israel's cities, but terrorists continue to fire several dozen rockets per day.