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July 23, 2014 9:59 am
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Tel Aviv Airport Still Open: Israeli Carriers El Al, Arkia and Israir Flying as Normal, Along With 22 Foreign Airlines, Including British Airways, Aeroflot

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Terminal 3 at Ben-Gurion Airport. Photo: Vladislav Bezrukov via Wikimedia Commons.

The Israeli Tourism Ministry on Wednesday said Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport is still open, with Israeli carriers El Al, Arkia and Israir flying as normal, along with 22 foreign airlines, including British Airways, Aeroflot and Ukrainian Airlines, despite a 24-hour flight ban by the U.S. FAA and a recommendation not to fly by its European counterpart.

In a statement, the ministry said, “Today, 209 flights will operate at Ben Gurion airport, with 132,000 arrivals and departures (not including flights arriving in Ovdah airport near Eilat from¬†noon today). It should be noted that since the onset of Operation Protective Edge until yesterday (July 22), all foreign airlines continued to fly into Israel as scheduled with the sole exception of one foreign airline that suspended its operation for one week. As things stand at the moment, it would appear that several foreign airlines intend to recommence operations to Israel.”

Earlier, U.S. Airways told AFP that it planned to reschedule flights for Wednesday night on Thursday, while British Airways said it would continue to fly to Tel Aviv.

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Israeli Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau said: “The skies over Israel remain open thanks to the foreign airlines who continue their scheduled flights into the country. We are in close contact with the Federation of Israeli Tourism Organizations in order to provide urgent solutions to people and businesses in the tourism industry. I have instructed ministry personnel to ensure that every tourist in Israel receives a response.”

Israeli Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevi said that “tourism in Israel has experienced similar crises in the past and has known how to deal with them. We believe that the Israel tourism product is unique and attractive and we are already preparing for a broad marketing campaign that will launch ‘the day after’. “

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