DOHA – French flag carrier Air France (AF) has canceled its Wednesday flight to Tel Aviv, Israel due to ongoing rocket fire from Palestinian militant groups in Gaza.
Flight AF-1620 was scheduled to depart from Terminal 2E of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) at 9:00 a.m. local time in Paris (3:00 a.m. Eastern) and arrive at Tel Aviv, Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) at 3:25 p.m. local time in Israel (8:25 a.m. Eastern).
According to current data on AF’s website, the flights after Wednesday have not yet been canceled.
Heavy Rocket Fire
The flight’s cancellation comes in light of recent heavy rocket fire from the Gaza Strip towards Israel since Monday evening local time.
According to data from Israeli missile attack alert system Red Alerts-Cumta, over 1,000 rockets have been fired into Israel since Monday.
Tuesday saw a large barrage of rockets fired towards almost all of Israel’s west coast, including areas in and around TLV. Sirens wailed across the region warning of incoming missiles.
Tuesday was the first time Tel Aviv and areas near Ben Gurion airport were targeted by multiple waves of Gazan missile fire until Wednesday early morning in Israel.
Airspace Closed; Flights Diverted
Videos circulating on social media showed Israel’s anti-missile defense system the Iron Dome engaging with the incoming projectiles, striking them down across Israel, including those flying over and towards the airport.
Some missiles, however, managed to bypass the system and fall on several suburbs and cities in Israel.
However, the airport or any of its runways have not sustained any reported damage.
Ethiopian Airplane Forced to Hold Approach
An early morning Ethiopian Airlines (ET) flight 404 scheduled to land at 4:00 a.m. local time was forced to hold its approach to TLV over the Mediterranean Sea for approximately thirty-seven minutes.
The plane flying from Addis Ababa to Tel Aviv was following precautions due to an ongoing wave of missiles occurring at that time.
Prior to circling over the Mediterranean, the airplane was seen circling over the West Bank or Judea and Samaria.
After authorities checked the runway for damage and confirmed none, the plane was allowed to land at Ben Gurion airport.
As Israel and Palestinian militants exchange fire, it is highly likely that some of the aviation industry’s regional interests will face disruption during the coming days.
Featured Image: Air France F-HRBB Boeing 787-9. Misael Ocasio Hernandez/Airways