Korean Air. Our passengers' safety comes first'

Korean Air suspends flights to Tel Aviv

South Korea's flag carrier is first foreign airline to halts its activity in Israel due to security situation.

South Korea's flag carrier, Korean Air, has suspended its regular flights on the Tel Aviv-Seoul line due to the Israeli operation in Gaza. The company is the first foreign airline to halt its activity in Israel following the security situation.



Korean Air noted on its official website that it had decided to temporarily halt the flights until July 24 in light of its concerns for its passengers' safety due to the unstable situation in Israel.


The airline operates three weekly flights to Israel. After cancelling three flights last week, the company decided to suspend all its flights until the end of Operation Protective Edge.


Many of Korean Air's Israeli passengers use its flights to reach dozens of destinations in Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other countries. The airline uses El Al's flight paths which do not cross Arab countries, and so it is favored by many Israelis.


Since the start of the Israeli operation in Gaza, many foreign airlines have decided not to let their crew stay in Israel overnight and have complained about the delays in flights as a result of the closure of parts of Israel's airspace and the rocket fire directed at Ben-Gurion Airport.


Some airlines have warned that they might have to consider merging or cancelling flights due to the delays.


In the first days of the military operation, the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) thanked the 110 airlines which decided to continue operating their regular flights.


Upon detecting the possibility of harming Israeli aviation, Hamas' military wing issued a statement calling on "all foreign airlines offering flights to the Zionist entity" to "halt the flights in light of the dangers surrounding all airports are a result of the war."


Last week, German tourism group TUI Deutschland, part of Europe's largest tour operator TUI Travel, said it was cancelling tours around Israel until July 31 due to the current situation in the country.


Turbo Aviation, Korean Air's representative in Israel, offered the following response: "It's an unusual situation, and our passengers' safety comes first. We will do everything in our power to maintain the safety and security of the passengers.


"In the coming days we will reassess the situation in order to look into the possibility of resuming the flights. The passengers whose flights were cancelled have been moved to other airlines."


Danny Sadeh contributed to this report.


פרסום ראשון: 07.21.14, 01:08
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