LONDON—British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Iberia all canceled flights to Tel Aviv as European carriers joined U.S. airlines in avoiding flying to Israel amid an escalating conflict there.
“The safety and security of our colleagues and customers is always our top priority, and we continue to monitor the situation closely,” British Airways said after canceling its flights to and from Tel Aviv on Thursday.
UK-based Virgin Atlantic canceled a flight there late on Wednesday and said it was reviewing whether to operate its Thursday evening flight.
Spanish airline Iberia also canceled its flight to Tel Aviv from Madrid on Thursday and back on Friday a spokeswoman said, while Germany’s Lufthansa also canceled its flights.
“Due to the current situation in Israel, Lufthansa is suspending its flights to Tel Aviv until Friday, May 14,” the airline said.
Wizz Air said it had delayed its Thursday flight from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv until Friday.
Emirati carrier Flydubai said it was continuing to operate daily flights from Dubai to Tel Aviv. The airline was scheduled to operate three flights on Thursday, its website showed, while a fourth nighttime flight was canceled.
United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and American Airlines on Wednesday all canceled flights between the United States and Tel Aviv.
Virgin Atlantic had said earlier this week that bookings to Israel had soared 250 percent week on week after an announcement by Britain that Israel was on its “green list” for the reopening of overseas leisure travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But an explosion of violence, with fighting in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip causing mounting civilian deaths, have made international airlines wary of the region.
British airline easyJet said that it was not yet canceling its flights to Tel Aviv. Its next flight there is from Berlin and not scheduled until May 16, with a service from London Luton to Tel Aviv scheduled for May 18.
“We will, of course, continue to monitor the situation,” an easyJet spokeswoman said.
By Sarah Young
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