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Are airlines returning to Israel, despite the war on Gaza?

Almost as soon as Israel’s war on Gaza broke out on October 7, many airlines suspended or cancelled their flights to Israel.

Last week, Yossi Fattal, director general of Israel’s Chamber of Inbound Tourism Organisers, complained that Israel had become isolated – “like North Korea” – as dozens of airlines remained reluctant to fly there.

The war has significantly affected Israeli tourism and flights. Yet, things are beginning to change.

Which airlines have resumed flights to Israel?

United Airlines announced on Wednesday last week that it will begin flights to Israel again from March, becoming the first United States carrier to resume flights after suspensions at the start of the war.

United plans initial flights to Tel Aviv from New York and New Jersey in the US on March 2 and 4, with a goal of having daily non-stop service restored from March 6. The carrier said in a news release that it had undertaken a detailed safety analysis before making this decision.

British Airways, which used to operate two flights between the United Kingdom and Israel daily, will resume operations on April 1, operating one flight daily for four days a week.

German airline Lufthansa, Switzerland’s flag carrier Swiss and Austrian flag carrier Austrian Airlines resumed flights to Tel Aviv on January 8. Meanwhile, Spanish airline Air Europa resumed flights to Tel Aviv on February 19. The Greek and French flag carriers, Aegean and Air France, both restarted flights to Tel Aviv in January.

Italy’s ITA Airways will resume flights between Tel Aviv and Rome from March 1, starting with three return trips weekly.

Brussels Airlines, the Belgian carrier, also announced on Wednesday last week that it will resume flights from March 24, with three flights per week from Brussels to Tel Aviv.

The Israel Airports Authority (IAA) also announced that the US-based Delta Air Lines will resume flights to Israel in May. Delta has not officially confirmed this yet, but the last update from the carrier said that flights will be suspended between New York and Israel until April 30.

This article originally appeared in Al Jazeera.

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