In the aftermath of a harrowing weekend marked by bloodshed in Israel, flights cautiously resumed on Monday from Johannesburg (JNB) to Tel Aviv (TLV).
Latest updates on flights from Johannesburg to Tel Aviv
The resumption came following a barrage of attacks launched by the Palestinian terror group, Hamas, which led to the cancellation of dozens of flights to and from Tel Aviv by major airlines such as American Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa, Emirates, and Ryanair over the weekend.
This abrupt halt left many holiday tourists stranded in Israel and Israelis abroad in a scramble to return home.
Despite the cancellations at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, commercial air links continued with Israel’s second international airport at Eilat, a popular tourist destination on the Red Sea.
El Al, the Israeli flag carrier, maintained its flight operations to Tel Aviv, albeit some flights operated by foreign partners were cancelled.
El Al’s stance was reiterated in a statement, emphasising adherence to the instructions of Israeli security forces and offering ticket change flexibility to its clients without any charges.
In South Africa, airlines continued to service the route amid warnings regarding the potential dangers stirred by the escalating conflict in the region.
El Al and Ethiopian Airlines both operated flights from JNB to TLV, with the former slated for a direct eight-hour flight departing at 21:20, and the latter servicing an earlier flight at 14:00, landing at 04:00 CAT on Tuesday following a three-hour layover in Addis Ababa.
As of the time this article was published, the El Al flight was on schedule with no announced delays or cancellations.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) of South Africa expressed grave concern over the recent tumultuous escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“No real and lasting peace in Israel, Palestine, and the region is possible in the absence of a just and comprehensive resolution of the conflict. Israelis, Palestinians, and the region do not stand to gain anything from escalated tensions, increased violence, growing instability, and a continued and protracted violent conflict,” DIRCO wrote.
South Africa reaffirmed its readiness to contribute to mediation and conflict resolution efforts, drawing from its own experiences on the continent and globally.