US and European airlines have halted flights to Israel after a plane was diverted when a rocket landed close to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) informing US Airlines that they are “prohibited” from flying to Tel Aviv for a period of 24 hours.
This came after Delta, US Airways and United all cancelled services to the city.
The European Aviation Safety Agency said it “strongly recommends” avoiding Ben Gurion airport until further notice.
However, British Airways has confirmed its twice-daily service to Tel Aviv will “operate as scheduled”.
It follows the news that Delta had to divert one of its flights to Paris because of incoming rocket fire landed just 1.6 km from the airport.
Flight 468 had 273 passengers and 17 crew on board.
Israel’s Transportation Ministry urged the airlines to reconsider their decision, insisting that the nation’s busiest air hub was secure.
“Ben Gurion Airport is safe and completely guarded and there is no reason whatsoever that American companies would stop their flights and hand terror a prize,” it said in a statement.
The halting of flights to Israel comes shortly after airlines re-think flights paths over conflict areas in the wake of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash.