- US airlines cancel direct flights
- About a third of Tel Aviv flights cancelled Monday
- Regulators urge caution but have not closed Israeli airspace
Oct 9 (Reuters) – Major international air carriers suspended or scaled back flights to or from Tel Aviv, while Russia banned night flights to Israel, after a surprise attack by Hamas militants over the weekend and a threat of escalating conflict raised safety concerns.
About 50% of scheduled Tel Aviv flights did not operate on Sunday and a third were cancelled on Monday as of Monday evening in Israel, according to Flightradar24, a flight tracking website.
New Jersey native Lauri Bader says on Friday, she was enjoying lunch outdoors with her daughter.
“Yesterday was the perfect day here in Israel. Everything was fine and calm and beautiful and busy and vibrant, normal. And then this morning, we were woken up to a siren at 7:30 and we had to go to a safe room, which is like a bomb shelter,” she said.
New Jersey tourist describes fleeing Israel
Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport was packed with passengers eager to flee, filled with uncertainty.
“It took four hours to get to the gate. It was a madhouse,” tourist Alan Goldfarb told CBS New York.
Goldfarb arrived from New Jersey on Thursday and was supposed to start a two-week tour on Sunday. Instead, he and his sister found themselves in a bomb shelter in their hotel. Outside, the city looked like a ghost town.
He spent $2,000 for one of the last seats open on a flight back home.