Lufthansa to resume Tel Aviv flights from January 8

The first phase will see nearly a third of the airline's operations to Israel restored

Lufthansa will operate Airbus A320 aircraft on its flights to Tel Aviv, which will resume on January 8. PA
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Germany's Lufthansa, Europe's biggest airline, said it will be resuming flights to Tel Aviv from January 8, making it one of the first international carriers to resume flights to the Israeli city after they were suspended at the onset of the war in early October.

The resumption of services will be done in phases, with the first initially offering four weekly departures from Tel Aviv to Frankfurt and three weekly flights to Munich, Cologne-based Lufthansa said in a statement on its website on Friday.

Its subsidiaries are also returning to service, with Austrian Airlines planning eight weekly connections to Vienna and Swiss International Air Lines aiming for five weekly flights departing from Tel Aviv to Zurich, it said.

As a group, Lufthansa's units will offer a total of 20 weekly connections to and from Tel Aviv, which is equivalent to nearly a third of its regular flight schedule, it said.

Lufthansa in its statement posted flight details of the services to be resumed, which will be operated by Airbus A320 aircraft.

Flights can be booked online from December 18. Attempts to book Tel Aviv flights on Saturday show the route is still inactive.

“Safety is always a top priority for the airlines in the Lufthansa Group. It continues to monitor the security situation in Israel closely and is in close contact with the local and international authorities,” Lufthansa said in the statement.

“Possible flight schedule adjustments must be expected due to changing conditions.”

Airlines suspended their operations to and from Israel immediately after its war with Hamas broke out on October 7.

At the time, it was unclear when carriers would resume their operations – and the picture remains the same with majority of airlines as there is no end in sight for the conflict.

Demand for international air travel fell 5 percentage points across the world in the weeks following the outbreak of the Israel-Gaza war, slowing the aviation sector's recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, travel data analysis company ForwardKeys said in November.

At the time, flight bookings from Middle Eastern countries fell by 9 percentage points since the outbreak of war, with other regions around the world affected, particularly the Americas, as would-be travellers cancel trips to other regions.

Flight bookings from Europe slowed down by 2 percentage points, at par with figures from Africa and the Asia-Pacific, while the Americas declined by 10 percentage points, it had said.

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, two of the biggest US carriers, both said on Friday that they have suspended their Tel Aviv operations through March 29. United Airlines said its services to the Israeli capital will remain on hold until conditions permit.

British Airways has suspended its Tel Aviv flights until January 10, while Vueling and Iberia Express have suspended their services until January 13 and February 29, respectively, their parent company IAG had said Friday.

Lufthansa and its fellow European carriers Swiss Airlines and Eurowings have earlier said that they had already resumed flights to Beirut on Friday.

Updated: December 16, 2023, 8:26 AM