Airlines navigate tense skies as Israel-Hamas conflict unfolds

Amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, which has inflicted significant damage in the Gaza Strip, Israel’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has affirmed that international flights to and from Israel are still operational.

The CAA has stated that Israeli airlines continue to function as usual, and international flights to and from Israel remain available via numerous airlines. Israel-based El Al, including its cargo operations, has confirmed that its flights are departing and arriving without disruptions.

The Israel Airports Authority, responsible for Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, has reported that the airport is operating according to its regular schedule, including both departures and landings.

However, several airlines are being cautious of their operations to and fro the nation considering the tense situation.

As per reports, several airlines worldwide have either been canceling or delaying flights, and cargo carriers. This has raised concerns about potential shipment disruptions.

Airlines on Guard:

  • FedEx, has temporarily suspended inbound and outbound flights to Israel in response to the unfolding events, with plans to monitor and adjust their services accordingly.
  • UPS another global shipping and logistics service provider has also cautioned about possible delays and assured customers that they have contingency plans in place.
  • Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP) postponed all flights to and from Tel Aviv until further notice, effectively closing cargo operations at the airport.
  • Lufthansa has announced the suspension of its regular flights to and from Tel Aviv due to the uncertain situation, lasting until at least October 14, 2023.

In light of the unprecedented situation in Israel, The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has issued a Conflict Zone Information Bulletin (CZIB) for Israel’s airspace.

“Air operators are recommended to ensure that a robust risk assessment is in place together with a high level of contingency planning for their operations and to be ready for short notice instructions from the Israeli authorities,” said the EASA.

Israel War: What is Happening?

At 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, a significant rocket barrage from Hamas struck southern Israel, triggering air raid sirens that reverberated across the country. The Iron Dome system, recognized as one of the world’s premier air defense systems, was swiftly deployed to intercept the incoming rockets. Hamas fired 5,000 rockets, leaving Israel in shock.

The Israel military in response fired with 2,500 rockets of its own, and initiated what they termed “Operation Swords of Iron,” deploying their fighter jets to carry out airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

In a televised address on Saturday, Prime Minister Netanyahu declared, “We are at war, and we will prevail.” He emphasized the military’s commitment to neutralize Hamas’s capabilities but cautioned that this conflict would be protracted and challenging.

Netanyahu also issued a stark message to the residents of the Gaza Strip, who, due to the region’s blockade by air, sea, and land, have no means of escape. The airstrikes intensified, especially after nightfall, resulting in substantial explosions that demolished residential structures, including a 14-story tower in central Gaza City.

Israel officially declared a state of war on Sunday, and on Monday, it announced a halt in the supply of essential commodities like electricity, food, and fuel to the Gaza Strip. This decision, under international law, is considered a war crime.

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