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International airlines suspend Israel flights: Here's what to know

Airlines worldwide are suspending or reconsidering flights to and from Tel Aviv as airstrikes continue.
International airlines suspend Israel flights: Here's what to know
Posted at 10:33 PM, Oct 09, 2023

Many major airlines have suspended service to and from Israel after a surprise attack from Hamas killed hundreds and prompted a state of war between the country and the Palestinian militant group.

The third day of conflict Monday was filled with airstrikes and attacks from each side, with rockets setting off air raid alarms and sending smoke into the air even near the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel.

Both the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the Israeli Civil Aviation Authority sent notices after the first attack Saturday warning pilots and airlines to "exercise extreme caution when operating" in the Tel Aviv area.

And the U.S. State Department updated an Israel, West Bank and Gaza travel advisory Sunday saying "the situation in Israel remains dynamic; mortar and rocket fire may take place without warning," a week after it had cautioned Americans not to travel to Gaza and to increase caution when traveling to Israel and West Bank due to terrorism and civil unrest.

Here are the travel updates and warnings happening now as the conflict between Israel and Hamas continues.

Major U.S. airlines suspending flights

All major U.S. airlines have suspended service to and from Tel Aviv as of Monday.

American Airlines said it has suspended service to Tel Aviv through Friday, saying it will continue to monitor the situation and "will adjust our operation as needed" for safety and security. Air Canada has also suspended flights through Friday.

After accommodating travelers who were at the Tel Aviv airport over the weekend, United Airlines said Sunday it would now suspend all flights "until conditions allow them to resume."

Delta Air Lines has suspended Tel Aviv flights until Oct. 31, saying it would work with the U.S. government and partner airlines to help customers out of Israel.

Department of Transportation regulations state flights canceled by U.S. airlines entitle travelers even with nonrefundable tickets a full refund.

SEE MORE: A Scripps News visual investigation dives deep into Hamas attack

European airlines suspending flights

Outside of the U.S., carriers KLM and Ryanair have canceled flights to Tel Aviv through Wednesday, and ITA said its Tel Aviv flights were canceled until Thursday.

Germany's Lufthansa — which includes itself, Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines and Brussels Airlines — said flights to Tel Aviv are suspended through Saturday, though Swiss International is sending a special flight to Tel Aviv Tuesday to offer Swiss nationals in Israel a ride back to their home country.

Cathay Pacific Airways, the main carrier in Hong Kong, canceled Tuesday and Thursday Tel Aviv flights. 

Norwegian Air gave a Sunday restart date.

Budget carrier Wizz and Air France said they were canceling all Tel Aviv flights "until further notice," and EgyptAir flights from Cairo to Tel Aviv have been suspended indefinitely.

Airlines possibly still flying to Israel

U.K. discount carrier EasyJet canceled flights Monday, citing "the evolving situation in Israel" and saying it would adjust flight timings over the next few days.

British Airways said it's planning to continue operating flights to Israel "over the coming days with adjusted departure times."

Virgin Atlantic said some flights will continue, but customers can rebook or request refunds until Oct. 15.

Emirates Airline and Turkish Airlines appeared to continue operating flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv and Istanbal and Tel Aviv, respectively.

Israel's El Al is running increased flights to bring reservists back to Israel, as the country plans a mobilization of 300,000 reservists and warned residents of the Gaza Strip to evacuate. 

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