UK budget carrier EasyJet extends suspension of flights to Israel until late October

Airline says that due to ‘evolving situation’ it is canceling service for entire summer after earlier this week halting operations only through next week

An EasyJet flight seen taking off from Ben Gurion International Airport, on March 24, 2018. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
An EasyJet flight seen taking off from Ben Gurion International Airport, on March 24, 2018. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

British budget airline EasyJet on Tuesday suspended flights to Israel until October 27, citing the security situation in the Middle East.

“As a result of the continued evolving situation in Israel, easyJet has now taken the decision to suspend its flights to Tel Aviv for the remainder of the summer season,” a spokesperson said in a statement after the airline on Sunday paused flights to Tel Aviv.

“Customers booked to fly on this route up to this date are being offered options including a full refund.”

Regional tensions remain taut with Israel vowing to respond against Iran for launching a massive missile and drone attack over the weekend. Almost all of the hundreds of ballistic and cruise missiles, along with drones, were intercepted before they reached Israel and the few that got through did very minor damage.

EasyJet’s suspension comes ahead of Passover next week, a peak period of travel to and from Israel.

It also comes shortly after the airline resumed operations to and from Israel at the end of March amid the ongoing war with the Hamas terror group.

An image grab from a video taken early on April 14, 2024, shows the Dome of the Rock atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, with the lights of missile interceptions visible in the night sky, early on April 14, 2024, after Iran fired ballistic missiles at Israel (AFP)

Other airlines have also suspended their operations due to the situation.

Swiss International Air Lines suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv until further notice, the airline said in a post on X on Sunday.

Swiss, owned by German carrier Lufthansa, said all of its planes were avoiding the airspaces of Iran, Iraq, and Israel, causing delays to flights from India and Singapore.

In addition to Swiss, Lufthansa said its flights and those of Austrian were also suspended to Tel Aviv, Amman, and Erbil until Tuesday. Air India also reportedly has temporarily halted flights to Israel.

A Lufthansa Airbus A380 lands in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. (AP/Michael Probst)

Lufthansa has also suspended its flights to Tehran. Lufthansa and its subsidiary Austrian Airlines are the only two Western carriers operating international flights into Tehran, which is mostly served by Turkish and Middle Eastern airlines.

On Sunday, Israeli airlines said operations were returning to normal as the country reopened its airspace after Iran struck Israel overnight from Saturday to Sunday.

Iran launched more than 300 projectiles at Israel —170 drones, 30 cruise missiles, and 120 ballistic missiles — of which 99 percent were intercepted by Israeli and allied countries’ air defenses, including those of the US, Britain, France, and Jordan.

With the Jewish festival of Passover next week, El Al said it was offering rescue flights from Athens, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Madrid, New York, and Miami for Israelis stranded abroad by other carriers.

Its Sun Dor subsidiary is offering flights to Israel from Larnaca, Rhodes, Warsaw, and Krakow.

Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon reopened their airspaces on Sunday, after closing them late on Saturday.

Passengers at the departure hall in the Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on April 14, 2024 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

United Airlines canceled both Saturday’s and Sunday’s planned flights from Newark to Tel Aviv. United is the only major US airline to have resumed flights to Israel since the terror onslaught by Hamas on Israel on October 7 that started the war in Gaza.

The terror group led a devastating cross-border attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians. Israel responded with a military offensive to destroy Hamas in the Gaza Strip and free 253 hostages whom terrorists abducted to the coastal enclave during the attack.

The day after the Hamas assault, Iran-backed Lebanese terror group Hezbollah began attacking along Israel’s northern border, firing rockets at towns and communities in the area. Israel has responded to the near-daily attacks with strikes on Hezbollah sites in Lebanon, and, allegedly, also related targets in Syria.

Iran launched its unprecedented direct assault on Israel in retaliation for an April 1 airstrike it blamed on the Jewish state that killed two Iranian generals and several other officers in Damascus.

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