World Middle East

All U.S. airlines ordered to stop flying to Tel Aviv

FAA bans U.S. airlines from flying to or from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport
Ban on U.S. flights to and from Tel Aviv could last up to 24 hours, FAA says
Delta Airlines cancels flights to Israel after rocket strike reported near Tel Aviv airport

The Federal Aviation Administration prohibited U.S. airlines from flying to or from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport after a rocket strike was reported one mile from the Israeli airport Tuesday morning.

The flight ban could last up to 24 hours, the FAA said in a statement, but State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters that there is a possibility the FAA could extend the ban. 

Delta Air Lines rerouted Flight 468, a Boeing 747 traveling from New York to Tel Aviv, to Paris on Tuesday morning.

United Airlines also canceled flights, according to a company statement.

Other non-U.S. airlines that have canceled flights to the airport include Lufthansa, Germanwings, Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines, KLM and Air France. The European Aviation Safety Agency released a statement saying it "strongly recommends" airlines refrain from flying to or from Tel Aviv, the Associated Press reported.

Sheryl Stein, a spokeswoman for Israel's El Al, said the airline’s scheduled flights will continue as planned.

“We have been maintaining our service as the national airline of Israel,” Stein said. 

El Al has as many as four flights a day from the United States to Israel.

Dov Aloof, a high school senior from Israel who was visiting New Jersey this summer, said Tuesday that he had planned to fly back to Tel Aviv on Thursday night until Delta canceled his flight.

“I did want more time in the United States but not like this,” he said. “I find out I can’t go home until God knows when.”

Reach Matt at matt.hansen2@latimes.com or @mtthnsn. Reach Annalise at annalise.mantz@latimes.com or @asmantz

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

July 22, 4:54 p.m.: The story was updated with further confirmation of European airlines that have canceled flights to Tel Aviv.

July 22, 1:28 p.m.: The story has been updated to eliminate information that misrepresented the number and type of daily flights from Los Angeles International Airport to Tel Aviv, and to add information about the European Aviation Security Agency's recommendation.

July 22, 11:57 a.m.: The story was updated with a State Department comment on the length of the ban, and quotes from an Israeli seeking to fly home.

This story was originally published at 8:50 a.m.

 

 

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