DALLAS — Israeli flag carrier El Al (LY) has announced over social media platforms that it is suspending flights to Tokyo Narita (NRT), Dublin (DUB), and Marseille (MRS) starting October 31. LY plans to resume these flights in March 2024. The carrier added that flights to India will be suspended until further notice.
El Al suspended flights to India in 2020 and planned to reopen a four-times-weekly route to Mumbai (BOM) and twice-weekly flights to New Delhi (DEL).
The airline stated that the canceled season services to Dublin, Marseille, and Tokyo were due to terminate in the October–November period when passenger numbers would drop. However, the carrier’s plans were expedited due to the security situation in the country and the waning demand from tourists.
Furthermore, LY has announced that it has stopped flying over Oman on its flights to southeast Asia for safety reasons. In February, the airline became the first Israeli to use a new corridor over Oman and Saudi Arabia after both continued to allow Israeli civilian overflights.
According to the Israeli carrier, there was no specific threat to its plane. However, the airline has still opted to revert to a route over Saudi Arabia but not over Oman, significantly lengthening the flight time between Tel Aviv (TLV) and Bangkok (BKK) from eight hours to eleven hours.
The news comes as many international carriers have canceled flights to and from Israel since the country’s safety situation worsened. El Al, Arkia (IZ), and Israir (6H) continue to operate flights and serve as a necessary air bridge connecting Israel to Asia, Europe, and North America and have added extra flights for military reservists.
American Airlines (AA) suspended its daily flights to Israel and entered into a temporary re-accommodation agreement to move passengers onto LY. Meanwhile, other carriers such as United Airlines (UA), Delta Air Lines (DL), Lufthansa (LH), LOT Polish Airlines (LO), British Airways (BA), Austrian Airlines (OS), and Brussels Airlines (SN) are among the twenty-plus airlines to cancel flights to Israel since October 8.
El Al has stated that since the war began on October 7, it has flown more than 350,000 passengers and continues to operate regular flights to destinations including New York (EWR and JFK), Madrid (MAD), Athens (ATH), and Los Angeles (LAX).
Arkia and Israir also continue to operate flights to destinations across Europe, including Larnaca (LCA), Athens (ATH), and Rome (FCO), among others.
Featured image: 4X-EDF, El Al, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways