Many Israel flights cancelled into 2024 as war drags on

Lufthansa plans January return to Tel Aviv but several airlines continue to suspend flights

Major airlines have been cautious in resuming flights to Ben Gurion Airport, Israel's main international gateway. Getty
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Many flights to Israel will remain suspended into the new year as major airlines steer clear of the war.

Virgin Atlantic has cancelled flights to Tel Aviv until mid-March due to the “ongoing situation in Israel”.

British Airways has no tickets available in the first few weeks of 2024 but is accepting bookings in February.

Among those returning earlier is German airline Lufthansa, which announced some Tel Aviv flights will resume on January 8.

Some airlines’ return dates have already been pushed back, however, as the Israel-Gaza war rages on despite calls for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Still suspended

Many airlines stopped flights after Hamas’s attack on October 7, with British Airways calling a halt to flights over security fears.

Although Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv and Israel’s main international gateway, is still running, major airlines have been cautious in resuming flights.

Virgin Atlantic said its schedule is “under constant review” but flights from London to Tel Aviv are cancelled until March 16, and the return journey until March 17.

Ryanair’s Tel Aviv schedule is suspended until January 31 because of what it called “operational restrictions” beyond its control.

British Airways, which at one stage said it was accepting bookings for December 10, now has no Tel Aviv flights available on its website until February 1.

Wizz Air is offering tickets to Tel Aviv in February from Abu Dhabi, London, and Budapest.

Emirates, which suspended all flights to and from Tel Aviv in November, is among the airlines that have not announced any end date for the stoppage.

United Airlines, whose flights are also grounded, said frequent flyers to Tel Aviv would have their status preserved until 2025 even if they do not travel until then. American Airlines has extended rebooking options until March.

Countries including the UK and Germany have officially advised against travel to Israel, which can affect insurance eligibility. The US says citizens should “reconsider travel”, one step below a “do not travel” warning.

Set to return

Lufthansa said about a third of its normal schedule will resume from January 8, using an Airbus A320.

Four flights per week will run from Lufthansa’s Frankfurt hub, and three from Munich, while routes to Zurich and Vienna will run via subsidiary airlines Swiss and Austrian.

The Lufthansa Group says this schedule “offers good transfer connections from Israel to North America”, but warns changes to the schedule “must be expected due to changing conditions”.

Romanian airline TAROM is planning to return with two flights a week between Tel Aviv and Bucharest beginning on New Year’s Day.

Flights will run on Thursdays and Sundays from the second week of January “considering the progressive development of the operation depending on the situation in Israel”.

Israel’s national airline, El Al, is still running its schedule “in accordance with the instructions of the Israeli security forces”. It says customers can cancel flights at no cost until January 31.

Updated: December 27, 2023, 7:04 AM