FORT WORTH- The pilot union at Fort Worth-based American Airlines (AA) has issued a directive to its members, advising them not to operate flights to Israel due to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza.
Union President Ed Sicher communicated in an email to the union’s members that pilots should abstain from flying to Israel until there is a reasonable assurance of safety and security in the region.
American Pilot Union Over Israel War
The email references the latest advisory from the U.S. State Department, highlighting the ongoing unpredictability of the situation in Israel. It warns of the potential for mortar and rocket fire occurring without warning, posing a risk to aircraft safety.
Sicher emphasized that it would be neither wise nor suitable to intentionally expose flight crews and passengers to potential danger by continuing flights into a conflict zone.
Israel officially declared a state of war on Sunday, launching airstrikes on the Gaza Strip in response to a significant surprise attack by Hamas. This declaration followed an extraordinary incursion by Hamas fighters the previous day.
They breached a heavily fortified border fence and engaged in attacks on civilians and soldiers in Israeli communities along the Gaza border during a major Jewish holiday.
FAA Israel Warning
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a cautionary advisory late on Saturday, urging both U.S. airlines and pilots to exercise caution when operating in Israeli airspace. This advisory comes in response to a sudden attack carried out by Hamas militants.
The FAA’s warning aligns with a similar alert issued by the Israeli government and applies to all altitudes. This cautionary measure has been put in place in light of events that have transpired within the past 24 hours.
Violence between Israeli forces and the Palestinian group Hamas escalated today, resulting in a significant loss of life on both sides. This escalation followed an attack on Israel, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to caution that they were entering into a lengthy and challenging conflict.
In response to the deadly attacks, the Israel Defense Forces announced a state of preparedness for war and initiated “Operation Swords of Iron,” targeting various locations in the Gaza Strip.
In a video statement, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant condemned Hamas for its indiscriminate attack, emphasizing that it would soon realize its grave error and that it intended to alter the situation in the Gaza Strip significantly.
Amidst the escalating conflict, the UN Security Council convened an emergency meeting. U.S. President Joe Biden expressed steadfast support for Israel, cautioning against any hostile parties seeking to exploit the situation to Israel’s detriment.
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