Israel to Allow U.S. Flights in Response to DOT Complaint

YERUSHALAYIM -
israel flights u.s.
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

Following a U.S. threat to ban El Al flights in retaliation for unequal treatment of American carriers, the coronavirus cabinet approved on Sunday a plan to allow an equivalent number of foreign flights to land in Israel, according to media reports.

The plan calls for up to 2,000 arrivals a day starting on February 20.

The U.S. Department of Transportation complained to its Israeli counterpart last week that the decision to allow Israeli carriers El Al and Israir to operate special rescue flights for citizens stranded abroad while maintaining the ban on other companies was a violation of aviation agreements between Israel and the U.S.

The solution, if implemented, would chiefly benefit United Airlines and Delta, which would be serving the Tel Aviv route.

Meanwhile, the shutdown of Ben Gurion airport, which began on January 26, is not set to expire until February 21. The Transportation Ministry has scheduled a meeting for Sunday to discuss the possibility of extending it.