80 flights to and from Israel canceled in 24 hours

aircraft  picture: thinkstock

7 foreign airlines, including British Airways, are still flying to Israel.

80 flights by foreign airlines to and from Israel have been canceled in the past 24 hours, according to the Israel Civil Aviation Authority. At least 8,000 Israelis have been stranded in Israel and overseas, and it is not clear when flights will be renewed. The foreign airlines who canceled their flights to Israel following the missile fired at Yehud are still awaiting a decision by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), considered world's leading civil aviation authority, which announced yesterday that it was suspending flights to and from Israel by US airlines for 24 hours. As of now, it is unclear what the FAA will decide. In the meanwhile, diplomatic and aviation parties are taking action to change the decision.

"In my experience with the FAA, it's motivated by professional considerations, not political ones, but that doesn't mean that it pays no attention to politics," said Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies head and former El Al pilot Eran Ramot. "The FAA makes its decisions by the book. It stops flying a given distance from where a missile lands."

Ramot finds it difficult to predict what the FAA will decide. "They are facing a difficult dilemma. On the one hand, it's a war zone, and they want to keep the passengers safe. On the other hand, they don't want to disrupt aviation traffic to an entire country. The FAA must also deal with the problem of the US passengers left stranded here by flight cancellations. It will also be interesting to see what the European airlines will do if the FAA decides to resume flights to Israel as usual. That's liable to put them in an uncomfortable position," he stated.

In addition to the three Israeli airlines (El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL), Arkia Airlines Ltd.", and Israir Airlines and Tourism Ltd.), eight foreign airlines are also still flying to Israel: British Airways, Russia Airlines, Czech Airlines, Ukraine Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Bulgarian Airlines, and BlueBird Airways (based in the Greek island of Crete).

"The missile fired at Yehud has upset the applecart and created a domino effect, and the Israeli passengers are paying the price," a senior civil aviation sources said. Another source said that Israel was paying the price for the global hysteria resulting from the downing of the Malaysian jet by a missile over Ukraine a few days ago.

Israel Air Pilot Association chairman Yosi Shuv said, "In any war involving the home front, foreign airlines either stop flying to Israel or threaten to do so. While Israeli pilots reaching Ben Gurion Airport run to the security room and go on flying passengers as usual, the foreign pilots get cold feet." He added, "Declaring an open and clear skies policy is not very wise. The problem starts when the skies get cold and are decorated with clouds of smoke. I'm trying to explain to members of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Association that flying in Israel is safe even under the currently prevailing conditions, but they're not listening. The halting of flights here by the airlines was predictable, and no surprise."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 23, 2014

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2014

5 Comments
View comments in rows
Update by email about comments talkback
POST
Comments
Your name
Please insert your name
Content
Hyperlink in a new window Hyperlink Right Left underline italic bold Bulleted List Ordered List Face1 Face2 Face3 Face4 Face5 Face6
Your comment

Thanks
You comment was recieved and soon will be published.
In posting comments, I agree to abide by the Terms of Use
Globes encourages lively and frank debate, but posts that the editors consider merely abusive or otherwise inappropriate will be removed. Report inappropriate content
Thank you for posting your comment, which will be reviewed for publication.
Loading Comments...load
Load more comments
aircraft  picture: thinkstock
aircraft picture: thinkstock
MORE FROM GLOBES
Germania to begin Tel Aviv flights

Germania will fly between Tel Aviv and Hamburg and Baden-Baden from March 2015.

Israel follows US, Europe on in-flight calls

Israeli airlines will be allowed to install Wi-Fi on their planes.

Ben Gurion Airport Ben Gurion Airport set for record number of flights

The airport scheduled a record 521 flights today - 263 landings and 258 takeoffs.

Wizz Air adds Tel Aviv-Budapest, Bucharest flights

The low-cost airline has also restarted Tel Aviv-Warsaw flights earlier than planned.

Hotels expect high occupancy over holidays

100% occupancy is expected in Eilat, the Dead Sea and Haifa and 90% in Jerusalem on Rosh Hashanah.

Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters גלובס