The flag carrier of Belarus, Belavia, canceled its flights to Tel Aviv as the aviation regulator of Israel refused to provide any services to the airline in the country’s territory. 

The Belarus national airline said that it aimed to revise flights to Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) in Tel Aviv after the aviation authority of Israel gave official permission to enter the city on May 15, 2022. Belavia explained in a statement that it was cleared to perform passenger flights to TLV airport starting from June 2, 2022..  

Following Israel’s permission, the carrier said it drew up a flight schedule that included a technical stop at Baku-Heydar Aliyev International Airport (GYD) in Azerbaijan. However, as Israel reversed its decision, Belavia canceled all scheduled flights to the destination until the end of the summer season, namely October 27, 2022. 

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“Based on the permission issued, the airline began selling tickets for new flights, the first of which was scheduled for June 2,” Belavia chief executive (CEO) Igor Cherginets was cited in the carrier’s statement. “The sudden decision of the Israeli side to cancel the previous agreements is surprising.”  

The CEO continued: “We really regret the possible losses that all participants in the tourism industry of Belarus and Israel will suffer as a result of the cancellation of previously booked and paid vouchers, but we once again draw attention to the fact that the unilateral decision of the Israeli side led to this situation.”  

Unlike most Western countries, which have imposed sanctions on Belarusian and Russian airlines due to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the support it receives from Belarus, the government of Israel did not fully restrict carriers from operating flights to the country’s largest airport. Belavia, however, saw its operations to Tel Aviv suspended from February 2022. 

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Following the EU sanctions, the Belarusian national carrier Belavia downsized its aircraft fleet by nearly half.