The Israel-Palestine conflict has begun to take a toll on U.S.
airline companies - at least for the time being - with The Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibiting them from flying to Tel
Aviv for 24 hours beginning Tuesday afternoon.
The restriction was imposed after a rocket fired from the Gaza
Strip landed at a distance of about one mile from Ben Gurion
International Airport in Israel on Tuesday. So far, Hamas militants
have fired more than 2,000 rockets toward Israel, while 609
Palestinians have lost their lives already in the deadly
Delta Airline Inc.
) Tel Aviv-bound flight was mid-air, when it was forced to divert
The Boeing Co.
) 747 aircraft to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.
United Continental Holdings Inc.
(UAL) has cancelled its twice daily flight to Israel from Newark,
American Airlines Group Inc.
(AAL)-owned U.S. Airways has temporarily suspended its
Philadelphia-Tel Aviv flight service.
Post the FAA ban, some European and Canadian carriers like Air
France-KLM, Lufthansa, Swiss Air and Air Canada have cancelled
flights to Tel Aviv citing safety concerns. However, international
carriers like British Airways, Ukrainian International, Belavia and
El Al still continue to fly to Israel.
The recent armed conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians
is the third of its kind in the last five years. Moreover, the
clash shows no signs of slowing down with the Hamas having rejected
the latest cease fire proposal. On its part, the Israeli government
has requested for the ban to be revoked immediately arguing that
Ben Gurion airport is well guarded to fly safely. They believe that
the flight prohibition will provide an undue advantage to the
At present, the FAA is monitoring the situation closely, while
the U.S. state department has issued a warning with regard to the
ongoing conflict to its citizens travelling to the war-hit nation.
Carriers adhering to the ban are currently allowing passengers a
one-time change on their tickets.
Of late, air travel has been under considerable scrutiny after
the recent Malaysia Airlines catastrophe, wherein Flight MH17 was
reportedly hit by a surface-to-air missile which took the lives of
all 298 people on board. Left with little choice, airlines are now
being forced to change their routes to avoid the Ukraine skies
where the government army have been battling pro-Russian
separatists. We believe the flight restriction decision has been
largely influenced by this recent disaster.
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