Delta Airlines and US Airways temporarily suspended flights to and from Israel on Tuesday, July 22 after a rocket fired by Gazan terrorists landed in the Israeli city of Yahud, which is 6 miles from Ben Gurion Airport. One Israeli was injured by that rocket attack.
Delta Flight #468 which was on its way to Tel Aviv from New York with 273 passengers turned around over the Mediterranean and flew instead to Paris. Delta announced the suspension of service to Tel Aviv with a statement on its website.
Following those cancellations, other airlines, both in the United States and abroad also suspended flights to Ben Gurion Airport. Among the other airlines grounding Israel-destination flights are Air France, SwissAir, Germany’s Lufthansa and the Netherlands KLM.
In response to the cancellations, Israel’s Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz called on the airlines to reverse their decision, insisting the Ben-Gurion Airport is safe and completely guarded and saying there is no reason to “hand terror a prize,” by halting the flights.
Instead, the U.S.’s Federal Aviation Agency banned all flights to Ben Gurion Airport for the next 24 hours.
UPDATE: Of course the ban does not apply to Israel’s airline, El Al. That airline has no intention of cancelling flights. “There is no chance we will stop operations,” an El Al spokesman told the Jerusalem Post.Lori Lowenthal Marcus