The surprise attack on Israel by Hamas has impacted arrivals and departures at Ben Gurion airport, although Israel Airports Authority has announced that both Ben Gurion airport and Ramon airport near Eilat are open and operating for both inbound and outbound flights.
At Ben Gurion airport only Terminal 3 is operating and Terminal 1 has been temporarily closed. 60,000 passengers are expected to pass through Ben Gurion airport today, including many Israelis returning home from vacations abroad and soldiers cutting short overseas stays to return to their army units.
Many foreign carriers including Lufthansa, Air France and Wizz Air have cancelled all flights to and from Israel, due to problems about insurance coverage, which does not allow them to fly to Israel during time of war.
Technically airlines do not need to compensate passengers for canceled flights during war time, which is considered 'force majeure,' but in practice these airlines will likely issue alternative tickets at a later date or repay passenger fares.
Passengers wishing to cancel flights can do so within 14 business days of booking the flight but are required to pay a 5% or NIS 100 cancellation fee.
Israeli airlines are being flexible on this matter and have added flights abroad for Israelis wishing to return home. Extra flights have been added to Bucharest, Prague and Athens.
Arkia is permitting travelers to cancel their flights over the next three days by email without any cancellation fee.
El Al has said there are no changes in its flight schedules but travelers abroad can bring forward their flight home to before October 13 free of charge, while passengers due to fly abroad before October 13 can freeze their tickets without any fees. Passengers abroad and due to return before October 13 can postpone their flight home free of charge.
Israir is offering a similar flexibility. Passengers whose departure date from Tel Aviv is prior to October 13, will be able to cancel or postpone their trip "without cancellation fees and receive a voucher for future redemption of the amount." Passengers who want to bring forward their flight to Israel and return before October 13, will be able to do so without fees depending on the available seats on the flight. Passengers who are abroad wanting to postpone their return to Israel will also be able to do so free of charge depending on available seats on the flights. Israir asks the passengers to notify the company of canceling their arrival in order to allow other passengers to arrive in Israel.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on October 8, 2023.
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