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European carriers suspend flights to Israel

July 22, 2014 9:32 P.M. (Updated: July 23, 2014 11:41 A.M.)
FRANKFURT (AFP) -- Major European carriers followed their US counterparts on Tuesday and suspended flights to Israel over security concerns amid the raging Gaza conflict.

Air France said it was suspending service to Ben Gurion International Airport until further notice while Germany's Lufthansa said it was halting flights for 36 hours.

Lufthansa said the step, which also affects its subsidiaries Austrian Airlines, Germanwings and Swiss, was being taken "for the security of passengers and crew" amid the "unstable situation."

The German carrier said it operated up to 10 daily flights to Tel Aviv from Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Zurich.

Affected passengers could choose to either be reimbursed or could exchange their tickets, it said.

Air France said the move would affect its three daily flights to Tel Aviv from Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport, as well as the three flights per week from the southern port city of Marseille and four flights per week from Nice.

Brussels Airlines cancelled one flight late on Tuesday and three flights on Wednesday.

Earlier Delta announced that it had diverted a flight bound for Tel Aviv to Paris after "reports of a rocket or associated debris near the airport in Tel Aviv."

Other major US carriers US Airways and United Airlines said they were also cancelling service to Ben Gurion.
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