Air­lines sus­pend flights to Is­rael over safety fears after air­port rocket at­tack

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY DANIEL EASTERMAN

IS­RAEL’S TRANS­PORT Min­is­ter Is­rael Katz has or­dered the open­ing of a sec­ond air­port near Ei­lat after Amer­i­can and Euro­pean air­lines sus­pended flights to Ben Gu­rion In­ter­na­tional over safety fears.

Uvda air­port, north of Ei­lat, was read­ied to re­ceive flights on Wed­nes­day in a bid to ease the con­cerns of air­lines.

The US Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Authority (FAA) had is­sued a blan­ket 24-hour ban on all US car­ri­ers after a Ha­mas rocket at­tack near Ben Gu­rion. Several Euro­pean air­lines, in­clud­ing Bri­tish bud­get car­rier easyJet fol­lowed suit. The ban was ex­tended for a fur­ther 24-hours with the FAA say­ing it would re­view the sit­u­a­tion

Mr Katz said that authority had “handed ter­ror a prize”.

Speak­ing on the BBC Ra­dio 4 To­day pro­gramme on Wed­nes­day, Rafi Ron, for­mer direc­tor of se­cu­rity at Ben Gu­rion air­port, said avi­a­tion au­thor­i­ties were wrongly equat­ing the far more dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion in Ukraine with what was hap­pen­ing in Is­rael.

“In Ukraine the threat to avi­a­tion is real as peo­ple have ac­tu­ally been down­ing air­craft over the last two weeks. In Is­rael we have a group of peo­ple us­ing ex­tremely un­so­phis­ti­cated weapons,” he said.

The FAA’s equiv­a­lent in Europe, the Euro­pean Avi­a­tion Safety Agency, said that it was up to na­tional avi­a­tion au­thor­i­ties to de­cide whether their air­lines should fly to Is­rael.

EasyJet said it would re­view op­er­a­tions on a day-by-day ba­sis. Bri­tish Air­ways has main­tained nor­mal ser­vice to Tel Aviv.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.