Delta Airlines Cancels Flights To Israel Through Oct. 31

Delta Airlines, one of the largest and most popular airlines in the United States, has announced that it will cancel all flights to and from Tel Aviv, Israel, through Oct. 31, 2023. The decision comes after a surprise attack by Hamas militants on Israel over the weekend, which has killed more than 900 Israelis, mostly civilians. The attack also triggered a massive retaliation by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), which has launched airstrikes and ground operations against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.


Why did Delta cancel its flights?

Delta Airlines said that it made the difficult decision to cancel its flights to Tel Aviv due to the ongoing events in the region and the safety of its customers and employees. The airline added that it will work with the U.S. government as needed to assist with the repatriation of U.S. citizens who want to return home. Delta Airlines is not the only airline that has suspended its flights to Israel amid the crisis. Other major airlines, such as American Airlines, United Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, and Turkish Airlines, have also halted their flights to Tel Aviv until further notice. The reason for this is that Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport (TLV), Israel's main international airport, is under constant threat of rocket attacks from Hamas. The airport has been hit several times by rockets since Saturday, forcing it to close temporarily or divert incoming flights to other airports.


How can Delta customers get into or out of Israel?

Delta Airlines said that customers who have booked flights to or from Tel Aviv through Oct. 31 can change their travel plans without paying any change fees or fare differences. Customers can also request a refund if they prefer not to travel at all. Delta Airlines also said that customers can currently get into or out of Israel via partner flights. This means that customers can use other airlines that are still operating flights to Israel, such as El Al, Israir, Arkia, Ethiopian Airlines, and Emirates. However, these flights may be limited, expensive, or subject to cancellation or delay depending on the situation.

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What is the outlook for Delta and other airlines?

The cancellation of flights to Israel is a major blow for Delta and other airlines that have invested heavily in the Israeli market. Israel is a popular destination for tourists, business travelers, and religious pilgrims from around the world. According to the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, Israel welcomed a record 4.55 million visitors in 2022, generating $7.2 billion in revenue. Delta and other airlines were hoping to capitalize on this demand by expanding their routes and frequencies to Tel Aviv. However, the current conflict has put a halt to these plans and caused significant losses for the airlines. According to an estimate by OAG Aviation Worldwide Ltd., a data provider for the aviation industry, airlines could lose up to $100 million per week due to the suspension of flights to Israel. This adds to the financial woes of the airlines that have already suffered from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising fuel prices. The future of air travel to Israel depends largely on how long and how intense the conflict will last. If the violence escalates further or spreads to other countries in the region, such as Lebanon or Iran, then it could take months or even years for the airlines to resume their normal operations. On the other hand, if a ceasefire or a diplomatic solution is reached soon, then it could pave the way for a gradual recovery of air traffic. In any case, Delta and other airlines will have to monitor the situation closely and adjust their strategies accordingly. They will also have to reassure their customers that flying to Israel is safe and worthwhile once the crisis is over.

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