BA and Virgin suspend all Tel Aviv flights after plane is forced to turn back

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By Linsey McNeill
Home » BA and Virgin suspend all Tel Aviv flights after plane is forced to turn back

British Airways has grounded its flights to Tel Aviv after one of its planes turned back shortly before landing in Israel because of security fears.

Flight BA165 was forced to return to London Heathrow after Israel’s airports authority reported rockets in the Tel Aviv area.

Air sirens went off in the city just as the BA flights was approaching the Israeli city, according to the BBC.

The airline later confirmed that, following its latest assessment of the situation in Israel, it has opted to suspend flights to and from Tel Aviv.

Virgin Atlantic has also temporarily grounded its flights between the UK and Israel. Its summer-only daily service has been cancelled until the end of the season on 28 October, while it’s second daily return flight VS457/VS458, which operates year-round, has been suspended for the next 72 hours at least.

Virgin customers due to travel up to 28 October can cancel with a refund.

EasyJet and Wizz cancelled flights to Tel Aviv on Sunday, along with many other international airlines, following last weekend’s attacks by Palestinian militant group Hamas in the south of Israel. There have since been reports of rocket fire from Lebanon into northern Israel.

Israel has since retaliated, firing rockets into Gaza.

The Foreign Office is currently advising against all but essential travel to the whole of Israel and it has urged British citizens in the country to register their presence. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said his office is ‘working with the aviation industry and on border crossings’.

Airlines that are continuing to fly in and out of Tel Aviv include Israeli carrier El Al, German airline Lufthansa, Turkish carriers Corendon and Pegasus, and Emirates to Dubai.

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