NEW YORK – The pilots’ union for American Airlines has issued a directive instructing its members not to fly to Israel amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza.
Concerns for Safety and Security
Union President Ed Sicher, in an email to members, emphasized the need for the company’s pilots to prioritize safety. Sicher stated that flights to Israel should only resume once there is reasonable assurance of the region’s safety and security.
The union’s directive is based on the most recent advisory from the U.S. State Department, which highlights the unpredictable nature of the current situation in Israel. The advisory warns that mortar and rocket fire can occur without warning, posing a significant danger to aircraft operating in the area.
Avoiding Needless Risks
Sicher asserted that it would be neither wise nor appropriate to expose flight crews and passengers to harm by maintaining flights into a war zone. The safety of all involved remains the utmost priority.
Israel’s Formal Declaration of War
Israel formally declared war on Sunday in response to a major surprise attack by Hamas. The declaration followed an unprecedented incursion by Hamas fighters who breached a fortified border fence, resulting in casualties among both civilians and soldiers in Israeli communities along the Gaza frontier.