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Several airlines suspend Tel Aviv flights until safety conditions improve




Oct 9 - Several international air carriers have suspended flight services with Tel Aviv in light of the Hamas militant attack on Israel, saying they were waiting for safety conditions to improve before resuming.

Fighters from the Islamist group killed 700 Israelis and abducted dozens in Saturday's attacks, which were the deadliest such incursion since the Yom Kippur war 50 years ago, prompting Israel to retaliate by pounding the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

On Sunday, U.S. air carriers United Airlines (UAL.O), Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) and American Airlines (AAL.O) said they had suspended direct flights, as did Air France (AIRF.PA) and Finland's Finnair (FIA1S.HE).

The U.S. airlines normally run direct services from major cities such as New York, Chicago, Washington, DC and Miami.

In a statement, United said it had run two scheduled flights to the United States from Israel late on Saturday and early on Sunday but had suspended services "until conditions allow them to resume".

Delta representatives said flights "have been canceled into this week" while they monitor the situation to make necessary schedule changes.

Britain's easyjet (EZJ.L) said it had halted flights with Tel Aviv on Sunday and Monday, and would adjust the timings of flights in the next few days.

Hainan Airlines (600221.SS), the only Chinese airline to fly between China and Israel, cancelled flights between Tel Aviv and Shanghai on Monday, citing the security situation in Israel.

It said it would continue flights linking Beijing and the southern tech hub of Shenzhen with Tel Aviv while waiving fees for cancellations before Oct. 20.

Cathay Pacific (0293.HK), which said it also cancelled its flight between Hong Kong and Tel Aviv on Tuesday, is to provide further updates about the next flight on Thursday.

Korean Air (003490.KS) said it cancelled its Monday flight between the port city of Incheon and Tel Aviv and expects future flights to be irregular.

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