Rescue Flights for Israeli Stranded Abroad on Hold

A passenger is checked on his entry into Germany at the airport in Frankfurt. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)

Dozens of Israelis are in Frankfurt, waiting for flights back to Israel, which were put on hold when the current lockdown was extended.

Frankfurt was chosen as the primary destination for sending rescue flights due to its large international airport, that still receives flights from most countries, according to The Jerusalem Post.

A spokesperson from Israir was quoted saying that the government has yet to authorize a flight which had been scheduled to depart Frankfurt on Sunday. They expect a decision to be made when the cabinet meets later on Sunday.

In the meantime, Renée Tirpak, who made aliyah in 2016, and went back to the U.S. for a college course, is one of the stranded.

“Since these ‘rescue flights’ were only from Germany, I needed to change my ticket with KLM from Cleveland-Tel Aviv to Cleveland-Frankfurt. My flight was supposed to depart later today, but got postponed to Monday,” she explained. “I have been hearing so many different things about these flights and I don’t even have faith that I’ll be able to get to Israel next week and that I’ll be stranded here in Germany.”

The ministers are also expected to extend the closure of Ben Gurion Airport, which is due to expire on Sunday night at midnight.

According to Ynet, a flight carrying 30 passengers who requested to leave Israel and return to Germany departed on Friday, and 31 Israelis arrived on the returning flight.

Meanwhile, cargo flights are landing at Ben Gurion. Some 500,000 vaccines from Pfizer arrived from Belgium and were unloaded and shipped to distribution centers.

Other packages were reportedly being delivered as normal, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Officials at the airport and Israel Postal Company said there were no delays. “We are just waiting to find out whether the closure will be extended,” a representative for the company said.

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