All U.S. airlines and much of Europe on Tuesday suspended all its flights to Israel. The drastic measure taken after as shell from the Palestinian Gaza hit a house near the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the United States has banned all U.S. carriers flying for 24 hours. The decision has been taken on Tuesday afternoon ” in response” to the impact a shell from the Palestinian Gaza that has reached a house near the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. The FAA believes that this creates a “potentially dangerous situation,” said the authority responsible for civil aviation in the United States. After 24 hours run from the issuance of the flight ban, at 1615 GMT on Wednesday, the FAA “assess the situation”, he stated. Air Canada has added Tuesday to the U.S. initiative; has canceled its flights to Tel Aviv and announced on its Twitter account that will monitor the situation.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called this Tuesday to Secretary of State, John Kerry, to help revoke this measure, reports Reuters, citing Israeli officials. Kerry told Netanyahu that decision has been taken for safety and in order to protect travelers.
Air France and KLM Dutch flights have been canceled indefinitely, and the Lufthansa group (which includes Berlin, Austrian Airlines and Swiss Air), the following 36 hours. Brussels Airlines and Air Canada have also cancelled their flights. The only company Iberia flight flying from Madrid to Tel Aviv on Tuesday night has also been suspended, as confirmed company sources around 21:30 tonight, the same as adopted for their flights roundtrip Barcelona -Tel Aviv, while a Turkish Airlines plane flying from Istanbul to Tel Aviv turned this afternoon after the airline suspended all operations for 24 hours. Local companies such as El Al, Arkia Israel Airlines or maintain their activity smoothly and is not affected, for now, the regular line, daily, with Jordan.
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) recommends that the European airlines do not fly to Israel. An agency spokesman said in an email to Reuters that by Wednesday a newsletter that includes a ” strong recommendation ” for airlines to avoid the Ben Gurion airport will be issued.
The Transport Minister Israel Katz, explained to U.S. companies that ” take-off and landing at Ben Gurion airport not an issue of safety or equipment or passengers,” according to a statement. “It’s a safe place and is fully protected. There is no reason for them to stop flying,” added the official note.
The psychological blow is important for Israel, a country surrounded by enemies with no fluid communications of any kind, except Jordan and, within limits, Egypt, and is geographically isolated in Europe and the United States, its main supporters. It goes far beyond politics, they closed the stage where business, university or technological cooperation, and connection to powerful Jewish communities, such as the Netherlands and the U.S. are made.
The suspension of flights arriving in peak season, when Israel was recovering for tourism, sunk in the years of Intifada. Tour operators confirmed Monday that they were receiving ” significant ” cancellations of groups and individuals from the strain of the offensive in Gaza and rockets. Now can be massive cancellations and losses, millions.