Airlines suspend more Tel Aviv flights, Air Canada cancels flight
WATCH: Delta Airlines CEO Richard Anderson says the airline will only lift ban once they have concrete information from US government that it’s safe to fly into Israel.
A number of international airlines continue to cancel flights to Tel Aviv because of ongoing safety concerns amid the fighting between Israel and Hamas.
Air Canada’s evening flight from Toronto to Tel Aviv was cancelled Wednesday afternoon, a day after it cancelled it’s Tuesday flight to Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport.
Wednesday’s Flight AC84 as well as Thursday’s return flight AC85 were both cancelled.
“We will continue to evaluate the situation going forward, and provide updates as needed,” read a statement from a company spokesperson.
Customers with flights booked to Tel Aviv up until July 31 are able to change their flight free of charge.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) extended its ban on U.S. airlines’ flights to and from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport for up-to-an-additional 24 hours, which would be 12:15 p.m. ET Thursday. The ban was first issued Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. ET and was in response to a rocket strike that landed near the airport on Tuesday morning.
American Airlines–which runs US Airways–said Wednesday’s flights and Flight 797, Tel Aviv (TLV) to Philadelphia (PHL), on July 24 had also been cancelled.
“If the FAA approves, we plan to resume service on July 24 with PHL to TLV, and operate TLV to PHL on July 25. We remain in contact with the FAA and continue to monitor the situation,” said spokesperson Michelle Mohr in an email to Global News.
Germany’s Lufthansa and Air Berlin extended their cancellations through Thursday and Air France said it was suspending its flights “until further notice.”
Following the FAA ban, the European Aviation Safety Agency late Tuesday said it “strongly recommends” that airlines refrain from operating flights to and from Tel Aviv. It said it would “monitor the situation and advise on any update as the situation develops.”
Lufthansa said its decision applies also to its subsidiaries Germanwings, Austrian Airlines, Swiss and Brussels Airlines. In all, 20 flights from Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels were cancelled for Thursday.
The airline initially had suspended flights for 36 hours through the end of Wednesday. Those cancellations were extended because “at the current time there is no sufficiently reliable new information that would justify a resumption of air operations,” Lufthansa said.
Air Berlin said it is working in close contact with authorities and is continuing to evaluate the situation regularly to determine whether further cancellations were necessary.
Among other European airlines, KLM, Alitalia and Scandinavian Airlines also cancelled flights Tuesday and Wednesday, but did not immediately announce their plans for Thursday flights.
British Airways, however, said Wednesday it has not cancelled any of its Tel Aviv flights and had no immediate plans to do so. The airline would not answer questions about how it had made its decision to keep flying while others were cancelling, citing security reasons.
© 2014 The Associated Press