EasyJet suspends flights to Israel after Iran attack causes travel chaos

EasyJet has suspended all flights to Tel Aviv over safety concerns for journeys to Israel – days after Iran’s attack caused chaos for airlines.
Flight data showed dozens of journeys that would have travelled over the Middle East turned back on Saturday after Iran fired more than 300 drones and missiles into Israel.

Now easyJet has said that its flights to Israel are suspended for the remainder of the summer “as a result of the continued evolving situation” in the region.
The budget airline told Sky News it has grounded its flights until 27 October at the earliest and said: “Customers booked to fly on this route up this date are being offered options including a full refund.”
In the UK, easyJet ran flights to Israel from Gatwick, Luton and Manchester airports. The airline also told Sky News it has no plans to suspend flights to other countries.

Meanwhile, Wizz Air told Sky News that while it cancelled flights to Tel Aviv on Sunday and Monday, they have resumed them as of Tuesday.
And a spokesman for British Airways – which operates four daily return flights per week between Heathrow and Tel Aviv – said: “Our flights are continuing to operate as planned and we continue to monitor the situation.”

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Wizz Air added that passengers may experience schedule changes because of the disruption and said: “The airline is closely monitoring the situation with the relevant authorities and keeping its passengers informed of all schedule changes.”


Iran’s attack on Saturday was in response to a strike on an Iranian consular building in Syria earlier this month which killed two Iranian generals. That strike has been widely blamed on Israel.
The EU’s Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) insisted “there was no overflight risk for civil aviation at any time” on Saturday.
However it also said “there continues to be an increased potential for miscalculation and/or misidentification at present” for flights over Iranian airspace.
Read more:World leaders call for Israeli restraintWhat are Iran’s military capabilities?UK’s worst airport for delays revealed

Image: Flight data showed flights avoiding the Middle East on Saturday after Iran launched its attack on Israel. Pic: FlightRadar24
‘The skies were closed’
Speaking to Sky News’ Kay Burley, travel journalist Simon Calder said while the EASA said there was no risk on Saturday, “effectively the skies above Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Israel all closed”.
He said: “Quite a lot of (the flights) just gave up and went home. So, for example British Airways was flying out to Oman, they got as far as Switzerland turned around and went back and that was repeated an awful lot.
“Lots of diversions of course, because airlines were taking on what they thought was enough fuel. Suddenly the skies are closed. You’re going to have to fly an extra 500 miles. And therefore, they were having to refuel everywhere.
“We still haven’t recovered from that. And on top of the problems we’re seeing elsewhere, I’m afraid it’s a very, very messy picture.”

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The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has not yet issued any new travel guidance for countries in the Middle East, or for journeys that go over them.
Sky News has asked British Airways if they also plan to suspend flights to Tel Aviv and other locations, and has contacted the FCDO for comment.

Source : Sky News