Major airlines have cancelled dozens of flights to Tel Aviv this weekend after the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise large-scale attack against Israel.
American Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa, Emirates and Ryanair are among those pulling flights to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.
However airport authorities did not stop commercial air links with Israel’s second international airport at Eilat, a tourist destination on the Red Sea.
And Israeli flag carrier El Al said Sunday that it was maintaining its Tel Aviv flights for now, though some flights operated by foreign partners had been cancelled.
“We might cancel flights to places where we don’t have a lot of Israelis to help other Israelis in other places,” a spokeswoman told AFP.
In a statement, El Al added that it was operating “in accordance with the instructions of the Israeli security forces”, with all flights now departing only from Terminal 3 at Ben Gurion airport.
Like most other airlines, it said clients could change their tickets without charge.
A Lufthansa spokesman on Saturday cited “the current security situation” to say it was cancelling all flights to and from Tel Aviv “up until and including Monday”, adding that it was monitoring the security situation in Israel.
Brussels Airlines, part of the Lufthansa group, also cancelled its Tel Aviv flights.
Air France said it had halted Tel Aviv flights “until further notice”, and the Air France-KLM group’s low-cost carrier Transavia said it was cancelling all flights from Paris and Lyon to Tel Aviv up to and including Monday.
Spanish airline Iberia announced that its budget subsidiary Iberia Express was cancelling its Tel Aviv flights.
Italy’s flag-carrier ITA airways cancelled its flight until Sunday morning at the earliest “to protect the safety of passengers and crew”, while Polish carrier LOT also cancelled its flights from the Polish capital on Saturday.
Other airlines suspending flights included Aegean, Swiss, Austian Airlines, Wizz Air and Air Canada.