European airlines are cancelling their flights to Israel due to the outbreak of the latest episode in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, causing investors to offload shares in the sector, Világgazdaság reported. The Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas launched a comprehensive attack on the Jewish state on Saturday morning, resulting in hundreds of casualties. In response, Israel declared a state of emergency and imposed a complete blockade on Gaza, promising massive retaliation.
Over the weekend, Wizz Air’s stock plummeted by 6.2 per cent until late afternoon, the Irish rival Ryanair’s stock dropped by three per cent, British EasyJet’s shares were down by 5.4 per cent, and Air France KLM showed similar losses. Lufthansa’s shares were down by four per cent, while the parent company of British Airways, IAG, suffered a 5.5 per cent loss.
European airlines reacted swiftly to the emergency situation.
EasyJet suspended its flights to Tel Aviv on Sunday and announced schedule modifications for the coming days. Wizz Air also halted flights to the Israeli metropolis and suspended further operations there until further notice.
According to Goodbody, an Irish brokerage firm, Wizz Air is most affected by the conflict since its flights represent 9.4 per cent of Israel’s total October capacity and 2.3 per cent of its traffic on its own routes is to or from Israel. Lufthansa Group, also among the most affected companies, also cancelled its flights to and from Tel Aviv. Portuguese airline TAP suspended flights until Monday, giving customers the option to choose between ticket refunds or free rescheduling. Other European airlines, including Air France and Finnair, suspended flights as well.
The British commercial airline Virgin Atlantic continues to operate some Israeli flights, but passengers have the option to request refunds or reschedule their departures until 15 October.
Despite the situation, several airlines are still flying to Israel,
as reported by the Flightradar24 flight tracking website. Among them are Ryanair, flyDubai, and the Israeli national airline, El Al, which landed a plane at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on Monday. Israeli airport authorities confirmed that they continue to handle incoming and outgoing flights, but it was not clear from their response whether additional security measures had been implemented.
Source: Hungarian Conservative/Világgazdaság