Passengers Lay Down on Tarmac at Tel Aviv Airport Amid Militia Attacks

On October 7, 2023, passengers disembarking at the airport in Tel Aviv were met with a terrifying sight. As they stepped off their flights, sirens blared, and they were instructed to lay flat on the ground. The reason? Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza were exploding in the vicinity of the airport.

A Surprise Attack

The attack was a surprise, launched by Palestinian militants early on Saturday. Thousands of rockets were fired from Gaza into nearby Israeli towns during a Jewish holiday. The attack was so sudden and intense that about 16% of flights were canceled and 23% were delayed to Ben Gurion International Airport, Israel’s international hub located just outside of Tel Aviv.


The Impact on Airlines

The rocket attack had a significant impact on airlines. Many scrambled to cancel flights into Israel. Some Israel-bound flights were diverted to other airports around the globe. German airline Lufthansa announced it would drastically reduce flights to Tel Aviv, and Air France canceled all flights to and from Tel Aviv International Airport.


Passengers' Experience

Passengers who had just landed at the airport took cover on the tarmac as rockets exploded nearby. The situation was undoubtedly terrifying, with passengers cowering and shaking in fear amidst the sounds of rocket blasts.


The Response

In response to the attack, airlines took immediate action. Both American and United Airlines, along with Delta Air, canceled their upcoming departures to Israel as internal security teams reviewed the unfolding situation. In Europe, Lufthansa, SWISS, Brussels Airlines, Iberia KLM, and Air France all followed suit. Even Ryanair and rival ultra-low-cost carrier Wizz Air canceled flights and diverted planes as the seriousness of what was unfolding in Israel became clearer by the hour. Despite the security worries, however, British Airways flight BA167 departed Heathrow with a delay of just over one hour on Saturday. The Airbus A350 aircraft took off from Heathrow just before 7 p.m. on Saturday and is due to arrive in Tel Aviv in the early hours of Sunday.

ANJ Hotels

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