Washington: The US aviation authority today banned American carriers from flying to and from Israel for at least 24 hours following a militant rocket strike near Tel Aviv`s main airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has told US airlines that they are prohibited from flying to or from Israel`s Ben Gurion international airport for a period of up to 24 hours.
The FAA issued Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) in this regard in response to the rocket strike which landed about a mile from Ben Gurion Airport this morning.
The NOTAM applies only to US operators, and has no authority over foreign airlines operating to or from the airport, FAA said.
The FAA will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation. The move came after major US airlines, Delta and United, suspended all flights to Israel until further notice amid concerns over the rocket attack.
However, a spokesman for Ben Gurion airport said it is safe for takeoffs and landings. Meanwhile, other airlines too were discussing and preparing to take action soon owing to the risk from Gaza rockets.
US Airways also said it has canceled two flights to and from Tel Aviv from Philadelphia. American Airlines sources said, they are meeting to discuss the situation. Lufthansa said there are no changes to its Tel Aviv flight schedules for now.
British Airways also continues to operate as normal but is monitoring the situation. KLM too said it was meeting to discuss the issue.
The move comes amid heightened concerns over the safety of passenger aircraft flying over war zones.
A Malaysia Airlines jetliner with 298 people on board was shot down while flying over volatile Ukrainian territory last week.