Israel’s Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport has closed to foreign-registered aircraft from January 26 until January 31, 2021, except for cargo flights, medical emergency evacuations, and firefighting flights.

This follows restrictions on the operations of airports and flights effective from 0001L (2201Z) on January 26 until 2359L (2159Z) on January 31, 2021, an airport statement said.

The Israeli government recently decided to return the country to a state of lockdown from 0000L on January 13, 2021, as it looks to keep out new strains of COVID-19.

The airport said Israeli aircraft would be permitted to land, but only for reasons "for which an operating permit was not required according to the country’s Aviation Services Licensing Law".

All inbound passengers, whose arrival was approved under the specified exceptions, are subject to special approval, health declarations, home or State quarantine, and negative PCR tests.

Passengers are only allowed to leave Israel with prior permission from the Health and Transport ministries and under certain conditions, such as needing medical treatment, attending a funeral, or for legal reasons.

Airlines most affected by the flight ban are El Al Israel Airlines (LY, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion), which provides more than 30% of all seat capacity at its home base during the period in question, with the next top affected airlines (in declining order of seat capacity) being Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, flydubai, Delta Air Lines, Israir, Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic, according to the ch-aviation capacities module.

Editorial Comment: Removed Izhavia from list of airlines serving Tel Aviv. - 27.01.2021 - 06:41 UTC