American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, the three biggest carriers in the U.S. have suspended flights to Israel amid escalating violence in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel’s offensive airstrikes hit the Gaza Strip yesterday, killing senior Hamas military figures and demolishing buildings that had housed Hamas facilities.
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The Palestinian Islamic militant group responded with rockets fired at Israeli targets, including Tel Aviv’s main airport, Ben Gurion (TLV). Rocket fire continued throughout yesterday and into early this morning.
According to The Associated Press, the current hostilities represent the worst Jewish-Arab violence seen inside Israel in decades.
United Airlines has canceled flights out of Chicago, Newark and San Francisco through Saturday, May 15. A United spokesperson told AP News that the airline will allow customers booked on Tel Aviv flights now through May 25 to alter their itineraries without raising their fares.
American Airlines canceled its daily departure from New York to Tel Aviv both yesterday and today, and offered to find flights for passengers on later dates. Delta has also canceled today’s flights from New York to Tel Aviv.
Airline representatives said that the U.S. carriers were monitoring the situation to decide when it might be safe to resume flights.
Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean International was scheduled to launch cruises from Haifa, Israel, this summer. The start date was originally listed as sometime in May, but the company website appears to show the first cruise, a two-night sailing from Haifa to Limassol, Cyprus, as departing on June 2. There haven’t been any changes announced as of yet. “We are currently monitoring the situation in Israel,” according to a statement from Royal Caribbean Group spokesman Jonathon Fishman.
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