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From US to India, many airlines suspend flights to Israel after Hamas attack

From India to US, several major international airlines have halted or limited flight services to and from Tel Aviv following a surprise attack by Hamas militants on Israel over the weekend. These airlines have stated that they are waiting for safety conditions to improve before resuming services. However, Israel’s national carrier, El Al, has increased flights to bring reservists back from around the world to assist in the country’s largest mobilization in history.
The attacks by Hamas militants on Saturday resulted in the death of 700 Israelis and the abduction of dozens, marking the deadliest incursion in decades. In response, Israel retaliated by launching airstrikes on the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.
Scores of arriving and departing flights at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport were canceled or delayed, according to the airport’s online flight board.
Air India on Sunday decided to cancel its flights to and from Tel Aviv until October 14 due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas militants.
Approximately 14 airline staff, primarily consisting of cabin and cockpit crew, have safely returned to the national capital on an Ethiopian flight from Tel Aviv. “Our flights to and from Tel Aviv will remain suspended till 14th October, 2023, for the safety of our passengers and crew,” an airline spokesperson said in a statement.
The airline spokesperson emphasized that all necessary support will be provided to passengers with confirmed bookings on any flight during this period. They reassured passengers that the airline is prioritizing safety and security during these challenging times
Apart from India, air carries from other nations including United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Air France, Finnair, easyJet, Wizz Air, Lufthansa group, TAP, and Virgin Atlantic, have suspended or adjusted their flights to Tel Aviv. Some airlines, such as Ryanair, flyDubai, and El Al, continue to operate flights to and from Israel.
Additionally, Hainan Airlines, the sole Chinese airline flying between China and Israel, and other airlines from Hong Kong and South Korea, have canceled flights between Tel Aviv and Shanghai. However, Hainan Airlines plans to maintain flights connecting Beijing, Shenzhen, and Tel Aviv while allowing fee-free cancellations before October 20.
Due to these developments, Israel’s tourism sector, which relies heavily on beachgoers, party enthusiasts in Tel Aviv, and historical tours to places like Jerusalem, is expected to face significant losses as flight cancellations continue to accumulate. Tourism accounts for 3.6% of total employment in Israel, according to OECD data.
(With inputs from agencies)
Watch Israel terror attack: Air India suspends flights to and from Tel Aviv till October 14, as Gaza death toll climbs to 313


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