While others halt, El Al plans to operate special flights in & out of Israel
While other airlines have temporarily canceled flights to Israel due to the ongoing upheaval in the region, Israel’s flag carrier El Al plans to operate special flights.
A number of American and European air carriers, including United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) as well as British Airways, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA), Wizz Air, Iberia, and Virgin Atlantic have halted all their scheduled operations to Tel Aviv, Israel. The air carriers decided to avoid operating in the region due to the ongoing conflict.
On May 14, 2021, a spokesperson of United Airlines confirmed to the Associated Press that the airline has still suspended operations from Chicago, Neward, and San Francisco to Tel Aviv until May 15, 2021. Meanwhile, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) and Delta decided to cancel all operations to Israel with considerations to continue the halt depending on how the situation in the region would further develop. The flights between the United States and Israel have been cut off since March 12, 2021.
As for European airlines, British Airways announced having canceled its May 13th flight to and from Tel Aviv arguing that the safety and security of its employees and customers was the company‘s priority. However, the airline said that it continued „to monitor the situation closely“, according to its statement.
While the largest German airline Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) stopped all operations to Tel Aviv until May 14, 2021, Virgin Atlantic suspended flights until May 15th, 2021. Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air joined Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) and postponed the flight en route from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv, which was due to take off on May 13, 2021, until May 14. Spanish airline Iberia Lineas Aereas de Espana decided to temporarily withhold the Madrid-Tel Aviv route expecting to restart operations on May 14, 2021.
Some air carriers, such as Emirati state-owned low-cost carrier Flydubai and British low-cost airline EasyJet continue operating daily flights to and out of Israel. According to the Flydubai website, the airline planned to operate all three daily flights with one cancellation for a night flight. easyJet ticket system showed that it has a scheduled flight from Berlin to Tel Aviv on May 16, 2021, as well as an operation between London and Tel Aviv on May 18, 2021.
Meanwhile, Israel's national air carrier El Al plans to operate special flights dedicated to repatriating Israelis who are stuck “in the locations from which it is not possible to return home”. Due to the complicated situation and changes in the schedules of other air carriers, the board of directors of El Al gave a green light for the airline to “keep routes to and from Israel open in all situations in which it is possible to fly,” the air carrier announced.
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