El Al announces end of flight between Tel Aviv and Johannesburg

The airline claimed that Israelis do not want to fly to South Africa. The suspension comes after the African country’s government led a call for Israel’s condemnation of genocide in the Gaza Strip

El Al announced that it will suspend flights between Tel Aviv and Johannesburg, South Africa, at the end of March.

According to the Israeli flag carrier, there is no demand that justifies the continuation of the service.

“Israelis don’t want to fly to South Africa…They are canceling flights and the planes are pretty empty…,” a spokesperson for the airline told Reuters.

Currently, flights LY51 (Tel Aviv-Johannesburg) and LY 52 (Johannesburg-Tel Aviv) are operated once a week, on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The aircraft used on the route is the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, configured with 235 seats (20 in first class, 35 in business and 180 in economy.

El Al, which calls the suspension a “pause”, was also motivated by security concerns, since the attack by the Islamic group Hamas on Israel on October 7 that killed around 1,200 people.

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The announcement comes after the South African government filed a petition with the International Court of Justice asking for Israel’s conviction for genocide in the military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The court announced a provisional decision in which it ordered Israel to avoid genocidal acts against Palestinians, but did not require a ceasefire.

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