Crisis in the Skies: Multiple Airlines Grounded as Israel Declares War
After Israel’s government declares war, many companies stop flights across the country.

Many companies have canceled flights into and out of Tel Aviv, which is home to Israel’s biggest international airport, since the country officially declared war on Hamas.

American Airlines told CNN that it would not be operating any planes until Friday while it closely watches the situation on the ground.

The suspensions come after a “do not fly” order from the head of the Allied Pilots Association, which is the union for 15,000 American Airlines pilots.

Ed Sicher wrote in a note on Sunday that since Israel has declared war, “it is not prudent or appropriate to knowingly put our flight crews and passengers in harm’s way by maintaining flights into a war zone.”

He told pilots to turn down any assignments that would take them to Israel and said that the Federal Aviation Administration had sent a message to air staff asking them to be “extremely cautious.”

All Delta Air Lines flights to and from Tel Aviv have been canceled for the rest of the month. However, the company said in a statement that it will “work with the U.S. government as needed to assist with the repatriation of U.S. citizens who want to return home.”

In a security report released Monday, the US Embassy in Israel said that it is still “closely monitoring the dynamic security situation” in the area. Ben Gurion International Airport is open, but “some flights have been cut back or stopped.” The embassy says that US airlines have briefly stopped flying to Israel.

A number of foreign companies have also stopped flying all over the country. Cathay Pacific, a company based in Hong Kong, canceled its trip to and from Tel Aviv on Tuesday. Air Canada says it has stopped all flights for now while it keeps an eye on how security is changing. Ryanair, an Irish airline, said on Monday that it would not be operating from or to Tel Aviv until October 11. Flüge between Air India and Lufthansa have been canceled until October 14. Norwegian Air has also said that its flights will not run until October 15.

On Monday, Korean Air delayed one of its three regularly planned weekly flights into Tel Aviv. On Monday, the company will also hold another meeting to talk about future flights between the two countries. The airline did say, though, that it would be taking a 218-seat plane from Tel Aviv to Incheon on Tuesday to take Koreans back home.

The Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel is just outside of Tel Aviv, which is less than 40 miles from Gaza. On Monday, CNN reporters heard rockets firing almost nonstop. CNN reporters in Jerusalem have also talked about places that are usually packed with tourists but are strangely quiet. Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered a “complete siege” of Gaza on Monday, making the conflict worse. It has been going on for three days and more than a thousand people have died.

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