The FAA ban on flights to Israel – reality beats instincts

There are many indications that the 36h ban on flights to Israel was imposed by the US Federal Aviation Administration as an instinctive reaction more than one based on facts.

The ban was lifted this morning without a change in the basic facts – the fighting in Gaza continues and  Hamas still has a large number of rockets that are being launched into Israel.

Two things that support the idea that the FAA move was an instinctive reaction happened yesterday. While all the American airlines heeded the ban, US secretary of state John Kerry landed at Ben Gurion airport in his official aircraft. It could have been diverted to an air force base but was not.

Secondly, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg was one of the passengers who boarded an El Al flight for Israel on Tuesday night.

Efforts are now being made to restore the schedule.

The ban was lifted 36h after it was imposed, but thousands of travellers have been stranded in Israel, the USA and Europe.

British Airways was one of the international airlines that continued its  twice-daily service from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv.

The assessment on 24 July is that the original flight schedule will be restored by Sunday 27 July.

The lifting of the ban comes less than 24h after the FAA announced a one-day extension to it in response to a rocket fired at Ben Gurion airport from the Gaza Strip.

An instinctive act was followed by an evaluation based on the real situation. The result did not surprise anyone in Israel.


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