21 MIN AGO / THE ISRAELI-GAZA WAR
U.S. Airlines Begin to Cancel Flights to Israel Amid Rocket Fire
The Associated Press is now reporting that Delta has decided to indefinitely suspend all of its flights to Israel amid rocket fire from Gaza upon the nearby Tel Aviv area and, most recently, the area surrounding Israel's lone international airport.
Delta Air Lines is canceling all flights to Israel until further notice, citing reports that a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.
The precedent set by Delta's decision could potentially cripple Israel's economy.
Throughout decades of peace negotiations, the greatest fear about an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank was that it would place its only international airport in the crosshairs of rocket fire. But in the past two weeks, Hamas has unveiled rockets capable of firing greater distances, allowing it to target cities once unfathomable to Israeli security forces, including its largest city, Tel Aviv.
While Ben Gurion Airport in nearby Lod has not been struck by rocket fire, as the greater Tel Aviv area has come under fire (and likely with the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in mind), Delta doesn't seem to be taking any chances.
Here is Delta's statement:
Delta has suspended service until further notice to and from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv and its New York-JFK hub. Delta, in coordination with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, is doing so to ensure the safety and security of our customers and employees.
Delta flight 468, a Boeing 747 from JFK with 273 passengers and 17 crew, diverted to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Tuesday after reports of a rocket or associated debris near the airport in Tel Aviv. Delta is working to reaccommodate these customers.
Delta continues to work closely with U.S. and other government resources to monitor the situation.
According to reports, US Airways is also suspending its one flight:
US Airways, which has one daily flight from Philadelphia, canceled that flight Tuesday and the return trip from Tel Aviv. United Airlines, which has two flights daily to Israel out of Newark, N.J., did comment immediately on the status of those flights."