Airlines Suspend Service to Israel Amid Unrest

In the wake of recent surprise attacks by Hamas and subsequent Israeli retaliation, major airlines from around the globe have announced the suspension of their services to Israel.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Airlines Suspend Service to Israel Amid Unrest
© Getty Images News/David Silverman

In the wake of recent surprise attacks by Hamas and subsequent Israeli retaliation, major airlines from around the globe have announced the suspension of their services to Israel. The current unrest has resulted in the tragic loss of hundreds of lives, with thousands more injured.

U.S. Citizens Affected

Matthew Miller, the State Department spokesman, confirmed on Monday that nine U.S. citizens have unfortunately lost their lives in the conflict. Additionally, the whereabouts of some U.S. citizens remain unknown.

"We are working with our Israeli partners to determine their whereabouts,” Miller stated. Despite these concerning developments, a National Security Council spokesperson clarified that the U.S. government is not “actively” mulling an evacuation of its citizens from Israel at this time.

Highlighting the severity of the situation, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a cautionary notice to pilots on Saturday. The notice advised "operators to exercise extreme caution when operating” in the vicinity of Tel Aviv due to the ongoing attacks.

Major Airlines Respond to the Crisis Prominent American airlines, including United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines, have all paused their operations to Tel Aviv. Delta has extended its suspension of nonstop flights to and from Tel Aviv until at least the end of October.

The airline has also committed to assisting its customers in leaving Israel via its partner airlines. In a dramatic turn of events, United Flight 954, en route from San Francisco to Israel, was rerouted near Greenland, as reported by flight-tracker FlightAware.

“Our Tel Aviv flights will remain suspended until conditions permit them to resume,” United declared on Sunday. American Airlines followed suit, canceling its flights scheduled for the early part of this week. It's not only American carriers taking precautionary measures.

The Lufthansa Group, based in Germany, also confirmed the suspension of all its flights to Tel Aviv, which includes subsidiaries like Swiss International Air Lines and Austrian Airlines. However, Swiss International Air Lines is slated to send an Airbus A321 on Tuesday, a move coordinated with the Swiss government.

This effort is designed to provide Swiss nationals in Israel a swift return home. Yet, commercial services on the airline are suspended through Saturday at a minimum. Concluding their statement on the suspension, the airline conveyed their sentiments: “We regret having to do so. We are monitoring developments closely and remain in close contact with the relevant authorities”.

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