KLM cancels Tel Aviv flights amid escalating conflict in the region
KLM’s Thursday flight from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv was canceled over safety concerns, amid escalating violence between Israeli forces and Palestinian militant groups. The airline said to NL Times it will continue to evaluate the situation before upcoming flights to Tel Aviv are permitted to depart.
Thursday's decision followed a harrowing night when over a thousand rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel, most of which were destroyed by Israel's missile defense systems. Israel's response included airstrikes in Gaza that killed ten senior militants. Since Monday, at least 67 Palestinians, 16 of whom were children, have died as a result of the airstrikes in Gaza, while one Israeli soldier and five Israeli civilians, including a five-year-old boy, have been killed by the rocket attacks from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, according to the New York Times.
It was the third time this week that KLM cancelled a flight to Tel Aviv, an airline spokesperson told NL Times. KLM subsidiary Transavia also canceled a flight to Tel Aviv on Wednesday.
The next KLM flight to the destination is scheduled for Sunday at 9.05 p.m. The Dutch national airline stated they will carry out a risk assessment in a couple of days before making a final decision about continuing with that flight. Transavia has not yet announced its plans for its scheduled flight on Friday.
In the wake of the deteriorating security situation, Israel's Civil Aviation Authority has declared that all commercial flights arriving at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport will be rerouted to Ramon Airport in Eilat, Haaretz reported Thursday morning.
The conflict has escalated over the past month, and is now considered to be the worst level of violence in the region since 2014.