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Foreign airlines begin to resume Tel Aviv flights after Gaza truce


A passenger enters a terminal at Ben Gurion Airport before Israel bans international flights, from Monday at midnight to the end of January, in order to stop the spread of corona disease (COVID-19) and the new corona virus strains, in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel, January 25, 2021. Reuters / Ronen Zebulun

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Jerusalem, May 21 (Reuters) – Foreign airlines on Friday made preparations to renew services to Tel Aviv hours after Israel and Hamas reached a truce after the worst violence in years.

While the Israeli airline EL AL Israel Airlines (ELAL.TA) continued to fly, many international airlines, including British Airways, suspended flights to and from Israel’s main Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv. Others were directed to Ramon Airport near Eilat, a few hours’ drive away.

Delta Airlines (DAL.N) has announced that it has suspended flights to Tel Aviv on May 12.

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“Delta plans to renew the service from New York-JFK to Tel Aviv tonight,” a spokesman said Friday.

“We continue to closely monitor the security situation and make adjustments to the schedules of our flights if necessary.”

German airline Lufthansa (LHAG.DE), Austrian Airlines and SWISS aim to resume flights to Tel Aviv on Sunday, Lufthansa said.

Lufthansa said on May 13 that it was canceling all flights to Tel Aviv due to hostilities.

Virgin Atlantic said separately on Friday that it expects to resume flights from the UK to Israel on Monday, but also said it will keep the line under constant review.

Tourism is a significant source of income for Israel and the neighboring Palestinian Authority even though Israel controls entry into Palestinian territories and the Occupied West Bank.

Israeli bombings on Gaza and militant rocket attacks on Israeli cities ceased after 11 days as part of an Egyptian-mediated agreement.

During the last major hostilities between Israel and Hamas, the 2014 war that lasted seven weeks, the Central Bank of Israel estimated that the country’s economy suffered NIS 3.5 billion, plus almost the same amount of damage to the tourism sector. read more

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Edited by Angus Maxwan

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