American and some European airlines have suspended flights to Israel for at least 24 hours after a rocket attack near Ben Gurion International Airport.
The US Federal Aviation Administration ordered Delta Airlines, American Airtlines and United Continental to stop flying to Tel Aviv after a Gazan rocket landed at a nearby town.
European airlines followed, with Lufthansa suspending operations to Tel Aviv for 36 hours. Air France and Dutch carrier KLM have also cancelled flights, citing the unclear security situation. KLM previously moved its crew change base from Tel Aviv to Larnaca in Cyprus.
A Delta Boeing 747 from New York to Tel Aviv was one hour from landing when it was diverted back to Paris instead. Flight 468 had 273 passengers and 17 crew on board.
United has one of its planes on the ground in Tel Aviv and is working on plans to remove it. American also has a plane on the ground at Ben Gurion.
The airline says the crew will ferry it out without passengers because the FAA won't let it take off with passengers on board.
Airlines and passengers are growing more anxious about safety since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine last week, killing all 298 people on board.
Israel's transport minister, Yisrael Katz, reacted angrily to the moves. "There is no reason for these companies to stop flights. They have given a prize to terror," he said.
Israel is continuing its ground invasion of Gaza to destroy military tunnels and rocket launching pads. The death toll on both sides has risen over the 600 mark as attempts to negotiate a truce continue in Egypt.
This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about MyNBR Tags
- Scentre Group to sell three Westfield malls to NZ firms for $549m
- iPredict decision the work of 'officious aliens' – Crampton
- Parent, widow of Pike River casualties fail to force review of decision to drop charges against Whittall
- Joyce associates openly talking about leadership change
- Kelsey’s bid to put rocket under Groser fails
Most listened to
- Tim Hunter on why Veritas is doing it the hard way
- Matthew Hooton on whether Steven Joyce will be the next national leader
- Rodney Hide on why all city planners should be fired
- Nevil Gibson discusses his latest Editor's Insight on films
- The NBR crew throw around some of the week's top stories
- Rob Hosking breaks down the political and economic week that was
- "A tragedy" - David Farrar on his disappointment with Simon Bridges
- New F&P product pipeline exciting, says Macquarie senior investment adviser Brad Gordon
- Taupo Motorsport Park executive director Tony Walker on the park's rebranding
- NZIER senior economist Christina Leung on why she does not think the OCR will hit 2%
- NBR's Cameron Officer talks about the NBR Car of the Year 2015
- John Barnett on Brewer: ‘Boy, has he got a bit to learn’