A PR company acting on behalf of United Airlines accidentally announced that the Chicago-based carrier was about to resume flights to Tel Aviv despite Israel’s continuing offensive in Gaza and the threat of a major escalation on the northern border with Hezbollah in Lebanon.
United Airlines scratched flights to Tel Aviv on October 7, the same day that Hamas launched a surprise deadly attack on Israel. The assault plunged Israel into an ongoing war with Hamas and has dramatically raised tensions across the region.
United currently has a travel waiver in place for both Tel Aviv and Amman in neighbouring Jordan, although this is currently slated to expire on November 30.
The ‘erroneous’ press release stated that United was to resume Tel Aviv flights from its Newark hub on October 24, although the airline was quick to explain that the information had been sent out by mistake.
United currently has no plans to resume flights to Tel Aviv, and its existing travel waiver is likely to be extended.
American Airlines has grounded its flights to Tel Aviv until December 4 at the earliest, while Delta won’t operate any flights to Israel until at least November 21 – although the flight suspensions are likely to be extended by both AA and Delta.
Although the Israel Defense Forces have been able to stop the majority of rockets being fired from within Gaza towards Israel and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport, the spectre of Hezbollah joining the war is likely to weigh heavy on the minds of airline executives.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.