For the first time since the Gulf War in 1991, US airlines are not flying to Israel.
The FAA imposed a 24-hour ban, scheduled to end at Noon on Wednesday, because of rocket fire from Gaza landing close to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.
Delta Airlines and United Airlines suspended their flights to Israel indefinitely. Several European airlines, including Germany’s Lufthansa and Air France, also suspended flights.
The actions come days after a Malaysian Airlines jet was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.
Israeli officials are urging foreign airlines to reverse their decision to cancel flights into Israel’s main airport. The country’s Transportation Ministry insists that the airport is safe and completely guarded, and says there is no reason to reward Palestinian militants by stopping the flights.
Former New York Mayor and Medford native Michael Bloomberg says flying to Israel remains safe, and to make his point, boarded a flight on Israeli airline El Al at JFK Airport Tuesday night.
“Sure I’ll take the flight. It’s safe and it’s efficient, and it’s a great way to travel. And El Al is a great airline, and we have a lot of American airlines that are great too, and I just want them to be able to fly around the world, and land safely and in peace.” said Bloomberg.
Considering the downing of the Malaysian Airlines jet and the violence in the Middle East, should the FAA extend its flight ban to Israel? Or are flights to Tel Aviv airport safe? Share your comments below, and watch for them on WBZ News in the Morning from 4:30 to 7:00 a.m.