FAA suspends U.S. airlines’ flights to Israel

Delta Airlines has suspended its flights to Israel, following rocket fire near Ben-Gurion Airport. Photo: SpaceKris /Shutterstock

Uriel Heilman, JTA

NEW YORK — United, U.S. Airways and Delta Airlines canceled their flights to Tel Aviv after a rocket fired from Gaza struck near the Israeli airport.

Delta and United both said they were suspending all flights to Israel until further notice. A spokesman for American Airlines, the parent company of U.S. Airways, told JTA that the airline was “monitoring the situation.” U.S. Airways canceled its only daily flight to Israel on Tuesday, a nonstop from Philadelphia.

The decisions came after a rocket fired from Gaza struck and destroyed a home in Yehud, an Israeli town near Ben Gurion Airport.

Delta also diverted a flight en route to Tel Aviv from New York’s Kennedy Airport on Tuesday. Flight 268, carrying 273 passengers and 17 crew members, was sent to Paris instead. Delta said it made its decision to suspend all flights to Tel Aviv “in coordination with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration” and “to ensure the safety and security of our customers and employees.”

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A spokeswoman for El Al, the only other airline with direct flights to Israel from the United States, said it continues to maintain its normal schedule of up to five daily nonstop flights to Tel Aviv from the United States.

Korean Air suspended its flights to Tel Aviv last week.

Last week a Malaysian Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was downed by a missile over the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people aboard.