Updated: EasyJet suspends Israel flights for summer amid safety concerns

EasyJet has cancelled flights to and from Tel Aviv for the whole of the summer, citing safety concerns following Iran’s drone and missile attack on the country.

Concern over an escalating conflict in the Middle East continues as Israel weighs up its response. 

EasyJet flights had initially be suspended for this week but the airline, which serves Tel Aviv from Luton airport, has now withdrawn the service for more than six months.

“As a result of the continued evolving situation in Israel, EasyJet has now taken the decision to suspend its flights to Tel Aviv for the remainder of the summer season until 27 October,” a statement said.

“Customers booked to fly on this route up this date are being offered options including a full refund.”

EasyJet had earlier said: “The safety and security of our passengers and crew is always EasyJet’s highest priority,” the airline said in a statement after Iran ramped up Middle East tensions by striking Israel on Saturday night.

“Due to the evolving situation in Israel, EasyJet has taken the decision to temporarily pause operations to and from Tel Aviv until 21 April,” the airline said. “Customers on affected flights have been contacted.”

The situation will continue to be closely monitored, the carrier added. The suspension involves a small number of flights operating from Luton airport.

However, budget rival Wizz Air is due to resume Israel flights today (Tuesday) after a three-day suspension.

Wizz Air said it had been forced to cancel most of its flights from Tel-Aviv on April 13-15 due to “security reasons”.

Services are due to restart from Tel Aviv, plus Aqaba and Amman in Jordan today, with “minor” schedule changes, including flights to and from Luton airport.

“Although this situation is beyond our control, Wizz Air sincerely apologises for any inconvenience caused,” the airline said.

Israel closed its airspace on Saturday evening after Iran launched its first-ever direct assault on the country.

British Airways is maintaining a service from Heathrow to Tel Aviv via Cyprus after commercial flights were allowed to resume.

Lufthansa confirmed that it will continue to avoid Iranian airspace up to and including April 18 but flights would resume today to Tel Aviv, Amman and Ebril in Iraq. Flights to Tehran and Beirut will remain cancelled until April 18.  

A statement said: “The Lufthansa Group is continuously monitoring and assessing the security situation in the Middle East and is in close contact with the authorities. The safety of passengers and crews is always our top priority.”

Ryanair flights to Tel Aviv are not due to return until June 3 with the planned reopening of low-cost Terminal 1 at Ben Gurion airport, as previously announced. Up to 40 flights a week are scheduled to and from Athens, Bari, Berlin, Budapest, Malta, Milan and Paphos.

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