The FAA has lifted its ban on U.S. registered airplanes flying to Israel late Wednesday night following a short ban that created intense political fingerpointing. United Airlines has announced it will resume flights immediately, and the carrier currently operates two Boeing 777-200 flights per day from New York – Newark.
The ban was lifted after Republicans accused the Obama administration of politics in imposing the ban, arguing Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport is the safest in the world, a view echoed by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who flew to Israel to show his support. The Ben Gurion Airport is protected by Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system.
So far, Delta and U.S. Airways have not indicated when they plan to resume flights. A Delta spokesperson said they are evaluating the situation and will make a decision soon in the interest of safety for their passengers.
Senator Ted Cruz said the Obama administration excited the danger to impose the ban as part of an overall effort to get Israel to do what the administration wants.