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Some European Airlines Resume Flights to Israel Even As Rocket Lands Within Perimeter of Tel Aviv Airport

Some European Airlines Resume Flights to Israel Even As Rocket Lands Within Perimeter of Tel Aviv Airport

a plane taking off from a runway

A slew of European airlines resumed flights to Israel on Monday after briefly suspending operations amidst the fallout from a massive Hamas terrorist attack that started on Saturday, and that has so far claimed the lives of at least 700 Israelis and foreign visitors.

The airlines that have restarted regularly scheduled flights to Israel’s main international gateway at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport include British Airways and Iberia, which are both owned by the European airline group IAG.

Other carriers flying to Tel Aviv as scheduled on Monday include Air Europa and Virgin Atlantic. Some Ryanair flights are also operating to Tel Aviv, although most of the carrier’s routes to the Israeli city remain suspended.

Flight operations at Ben Gurion have been able to continue despite the airport coming under sporadic rocket attacks. In one incident on Monday, a rocket fired from Gaza landed within the perimeter of the airport, although officials said the impact was in a field and no damage was reported.

The incident was enough, however, to unnerve passengers and staff who were ordered to take shelter as air raid sirens sounded yet again.

The European Air Safety Agency (EASA) has ordered airlines to have “robust risk assessments” in place before resuming flights to Israel and to have “a high level of contingency planning” ready should the situation change at short notice.

In a newly published Conflict Zone Information Bulletin, European air safety regulators, however, said there was no evidence to suggest that ‘mitigation measures’ like Israel’s Iron Dome rocket intercept system “are not efficient or inadequate”.

“It is therefore considered that risks against civil aviation are for the time being effectively managed by the Israeli State authorities,” the EASA notice continued.

Despite the reassurances, most European airlines continue to suspend their operations in Europe. These include Air France, ITA Airways, Lufthansa, and easyJet.

U.S. carriers, including American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines, have also cancelled their Tel Aviv services for the next few days at least.

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