News

Airlines halt flights to Israel

Airlines halt flights to Israel

GROUNDED:The flight stoppages came after Hamas, the militant group that dominates in the Gaza Strip, and its allies fired more rockets into Israel, triggering sirens in Tel Aviv. One hit a town on the fringes of Ben-Gurion International Airport, lightly injuring two people, officials said. Photo: Reuters

(Reuters) – U.S. air carriers Delta Air Lines, American Airlines Group and United Airlines said on Tuesday they have halted flights to Israel to ensure passenger safety as the turmoil in the region has intensified.

Delta and United said in separate statements that they have suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv “until further notice.”

Atlanta-based Delta said it was operating in coordination with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration “to ensure the safety of our customers and employees.”

The flight stoppages came after Hamas, the militant group that dominates in the Gaza Strip, and its allies fired more rockets into Israel, triggering sirens in Tel Aviv. One hit a town on the fringes of Ben-Gurion International Airport, lightly injuring two people, officials said.

Meanwhile, Casey Norton, a spokesman for American Airlines, said an inbound and outbound flight operated by its US Airways unit between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv were canceled.

Esther Castiel, who heads US Airways’ operations in Tel Aviv, said the FAA had “issued a request not to travel to Israel. All U.S. carriers are stopping.”

She added that it was not clear whether the travel halt was for one day or more.

The FAA did not immediately have a comment on the matter.

A spokesman for Lufthansa said it was closely monitoring the situation, but that the German carrier has not yet decided to halt flights to Israel. British Airways, which flies to Tel Aviv twice daily, said its flights continue to operate as normal.

Israel launched an offensive on July 8 to halt missile salvoes out of Gaza by Hamas, which was angered by a crackdown on its supporters in the occupied West Bank and suffering economic hardship because of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs in Atlanta, Steven Scheer in Tel Aviv and Victoria Bryan in Berlin, editing by G Crosse)

Recent Headlines

in National

Amanda Knox murder conviction overturned

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2014, file photo, Amanda Knox prepares to leave the set following a television interview in New York. Knox is engaged to Colin Sutherland, a musician who recently moved to Seattle from New York, a person close to the Knox family confirmed for The Associated Press. Knox’s murder conviction in the 2007 stabbing of her roommate has been reinstated by an Italian court, but the former college exchange student maintains her innocence and vows she won’t willingly go back to Italy. Both Knox and Sutherland are 27. No wedding date had been set.

Italy's highest court has overturned the murder conviction against Amanda Knox, bringing to a definitive end the high-profile case.

in National

Time for Iran to make tough decisions in nuclear talks

In this March 26, 2015, photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, center, leaves a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other U.S. officials at a hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland. U.S. and Iranian diplomats gather at a Baroque palace in Europe, a historic nuclear agreement within reach. Over Iraq’s deserts, their militaries fight a common foe. Leaders in Washington and Tehran, capitals once a million miles from each other in ideological terms, wrestle for the first time in decades with the notion of a rapprochement.

Six world powers and Iran move closer to a deal, but there are still major disagreements.

in National

Making headlines this week

AP193442892434_0

A look at some of the week's biggest headlines and the stories you may have missed.

in Entertainment, National

Celebrities protest new Indiana law

George Takei poses for a portrait at Quaker Good Energy Lodge with GenArt and the Collective , during the Sundance Film Festival, on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 in Park City, Utah.

Celebrities call for an Indiana boycott after the passing of a controversial law that could lead to discrimination against gay couples.

in National

Senate’s Harry Reid will not seek re-election

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. adjusts his glasses as he speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 24, 2015, following a policy luncheon. Reid is wearing special glasses as part of his recovery from injuries suffered in an exercise accident in January.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says that it would be "inappropriate" for him to seek re-election.