Friday 21 November 2014

Airlines cancelling flights to Israel over missile fears

Published 22/07/2014 | 16:38

The bodies of three of the four Palestinian children from the Baker family, whom medics said were killed by a shell fired by an Israeli naval gunboat, is carried from the morgue in Gaza City.Photo: REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly
The bodies of three of the four Palestinian children from the Baker family, whom medics said were killed by a shell fired by an Israeli naval gunboat, is carried from the morgue in Gaza City.Photo: REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly
Palestinians, who fled their homes during heavy Israeli shelling in the Shejaia neighbourhood, sleep at the Saint Porfirios church in Gaza City
Palestinians look at a residential building which police said was hit in an Israeli air strike that killed at least 10 Palestinians on Monday, in Gaza City
Smoke rises following what witnesses said was an Israeli air strike in Gaza City
A Palestinian man carries his son as he walks past a mosque which police said was hit in an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City
A Palestinian woman walks past the rubble of a residential building, which police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City
Palestinians search for belongings under the rubble of a residential building, which police said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City
Palestinians inspect a residential building, which police said was destoyed in an Israeli air strike, in Gaza City
Palestinians look at the remains of a mosque, which police said was hit in an Israeli air strike, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip
A Palestinian touches the forehead of a member of the Abu-Hasira family, who medics said was killed in an Israeli air strike, at a funeral in Gaza City
Palestinians evacuate a building after what witnesses said were warning Israeli air strikes next to their homes in Gaza City
Palestinian boys, who fled their houses during heavy Israeli shelling in the Shejaia neighborhood, dip in a fountain basin at a garden in Gaza City

Delta Air Lines is cancelling all flights to Israel until further notice, citing reports that a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.

A Delta Boeing 747 from New York was flying over the Mediterranean headed for Tel Aviv on Tuesday when it turned around and flew to Paris instead. Flight 468 had 273 passengers and 17 crew on board.

Airlines and passengers are growing more anxious about safety since last week, when a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

The Federal Aviation Administration is also telling US airlines they are prohibited from flying to the Tel Aviv airport in Israel after a Hamas rocket exploded nearby.

The FAA said in a statement that the ban on flights is for 24 hours beginning at 12:15 pm EST on Tuesday.

The statement said the rocket strike landed about one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport on Tuesday morning.

The notice only applies to US airlines since the FAA has no authority over carriers from other nations.

The agency said it will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation, and that updated instructions will be provided to US airlines "as soon as conditions permit, but no later than 24 hours" from the time the directive went into force.

Press Association

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