MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Floridians who want to fly into Tel Aviv will not be able to after two U.S. airlines cancelled all flights to Israel until further notice, after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.
Rocket fire near Tel Aviv’s Airport led to a dramatic decision from the US Government Tuesday—all flights into Israel are canceled.
All US airlines, and some in Europe and Canada, announced Tuesday the suspension of flights because of the crisis in the Middle East.
Israel, however, is urging a reversal of the decision saying the airport is safe and completely guarded.
At Miami International Airport Tuesday it appeared to be the usual hustle and bustle but some travelers to Israel were stalled as the Federal Aviation Administration made Israel a no-fly-zone.
The FAA issued the stop order all US flights to Tel Aviv around noon Tuesday amid fears of rocket strikes. The agency sent a statement saying all American airliners “are prohibited from flying to or from Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport for a period of up to 24 hours.”
“It’s scary and I understand—better safe than sorry,” said Rene Borscheid.
The notification is in response to a rocket strike which landed about one mile from the airport Tuesday morning as fighting between Israel and Gaza continues to escalate.
“I think it’s a shame that here’s trouble in the Middle East again and I think it’s dreadful that people are dying,” said Jillian Miller who was at MIA traveling to London Tuesday.
A Delta flight on its way to Tel Aviv was diverted to Paris after seeing signs of rocket debris near Ben Gurion Airport—prompting the FAA travel restriction.
Stephanie Morales says her husband’s flight to Israel was canceled Tuesday.
“My husband was just about to leave and he told me that had to cancel his flight,” said Morales. “He was upset because he had to do business over there.”
Morales’s husband decided to postpone his business trip for at least a month—when he hopes tensions will die down.
The FAA suspension notice only applies to US airlines since FAA has no authority over foreign carriers but several European airlines, including Air France and Lufthansa, have also suspended flights to Tel Aviv.
“I think we’re all frightened were all getting a little frightened of flying because of what happened over Ukraine and problems—different problems in different parts of the world. It’s scary,” said Miller.
Elizabeth Douglas is flying to Europe with her family and says she made sure to check their flight path wasn’t near conflict zone airspace.
“It’s just not safe, not safe to fly if they’re sending rockets,” said Douglas who is flying to Barcelona.
“I believe it’s very important that the authorities monitor the situation, make sure it’s safe, and when its safe all carriers fly back to Israel for the people of Israel,” said Eric Stillman with the Jewish Federation of Broward County.
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