Amid escalating tensions in Israel, international airlines suspend flights, cruise services reroute, and major events face cancellations. Travelers are advised to exercise caution and stay updated.
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Israeli Conflict Deepens
In a startling turn, fighting has intensified between Israeli forces and Hamas militants following Hamas’s surprise assault on Israel last Saturday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated emphatically that Israel is “at war.”
This rapidly evolving situation has led to international airlines suspending flights to and from Israel.
Foreign governments also provide updated guidance for citizens traveling or residing in the region.
Impacts on Aviation
Hamas has disclosed its intentions to target Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel’s premier international airport outside Tel Aviv.
A frightening episode was witnessed by CNN’s Nic Robertson on October 7 at the airport when missile sirens pierced the air.
Despite the ongoing conflict, as of Monday morning, Ben Gurion‘s website announced the airport’s continued operations.
Another airport, the Ilan and Asaf Ramon International Airport in Eilat, also plans to maintain its services.
Israeli Airlines Stay Afloat
Despite challenges, Israel’s flagship carrier, El Al, declared its intention to operate as usual, following the guidelines set by Israeli security forces.
They are offering flexible ticket options for passengers amidst the conflict.
Moreover, Israel’s smaller airline companies, Israir and Arkia Airlines, provide flights to bring Israelis stranded abroad back home.
International Airlines Pull Back
Several international airlines, including Lufthansa, Air France, Cathay Pacific Airways, Korean Air, and Delta Air Lines, have either trimmed or completely halted their flight services to Israel due to the escalating tensions.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also released a cautionary memo to pilots flying in Israeli airspace.
Cruise Services Altered
Upcoming voyages to Israel by major cruise lines have undergone significant adjustments.
Norwegian Jade and Royal Caribbean have canceled scheduled stops in Israel, rerouting their ships.
Celestyal Cruises also suspends all Israel ports of call until the end of November.
Events and Matches Postponed
Prominent events scheduled in Israel face cancellation.
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has postponed all football matches due to take place in Israel in the coming weeks.
Furthermore, the highly anticipated Bruno Mars concert in Tel Aviv was called off by Live Nation.
Guidance from Foreign Governments
Various countries, such as the US and UK, have updated their travel advice for Israel and Gaza after the weekend’s attacks.
The US Embassy in Israel labeled the situation unpredictable and issued advisory notices for American citizens.
Similarly, the UK embassy has provided directives for British nationals, suggesting they avoid high-risk zones.
For those affected, it is crucial to stay informed, remain cautious, and always prioritize safety.