Delta Suspends Service to Tel Aviv Over Missile Fears

 - July 22, 2014, 12:32 PM
Delta Air Lines diverted a Tel Aviv-bound Boeing 747-400 to Paris on Tuesday upon learning of reports of a rocket "or associated debris" near Ben Gurion International Airport. (Photo: Delta Air Lines)

Delta Air Lines has suspended service “until further notice” to and from Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv and its New York-JFK hub in response to threats to civilian airplanes flying over Israel.

Delta flight 468, a Boeing 747 from JFK with 273 passengers and 17 crewmembers, diverted to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport Tuesday after reports of a rocket or associated debris near the airport in Tel Aviv. Delta said it is working to re-accommodate its customers.

“Delta continues to work closely with U.S. and other government resources to monitor the situation,” the airline said in a statement.

At 12:15 pm New York time, the FAA issued a notice to airmen (Notam) prohibiting all U.S. airlines flying to or from Ben Gurion for 24 hours. It said it issued the notice in response to a rocket strike roughly a mile from the airport. It added that it would continue to monitor the situation and issue updated instructions “as soon as conditions permit,” but no later than 24 hours from the time the Notam took effect.

Sensitivity over the threat to civilian aircraft over war zones has increased since the apparent downing on July 17 of a Malaysia Airlines 777 carrying 298 people by a surface-to-air missile over eastern Ukraine.