UK to arrange flights for Brits fleeing Israel as violence with Hamas rages on

12 October 2023, 13:01 | Updated: 12 October 2023, 13:33

The UK is setting up flights to bring Brits out of Israel
The UK is setting up flights to bring Brits out of Israel. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

The government is arranging flights to get Brits out of Israel as the country descends into war.

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Foreign nationals looking to leave faced difficulties as a series of airlines suspended flights between the UK and Tel Aviv.

Families of British diplomats have already been told to leave amid fears the violence will descend ahead of an expected ground invasion of Gaza, as Hamas continues to fire rockets.

The danger was made clear as foreign secretary James Cleverly was force to run to shelter as rocket sirens warning of a Hamas attack set off during his visit to southern Israel.

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Flights will leave Ben Gurion Airport later on Thursday and a ticket is understood to cost £300.

Anyone eligible to leave will be contacted directly, the Foreign Office said, and Brits should not go to the airport unless called.

It comes after a number of airlines serving UK airports suspended flights to Tel Aviv and a BA plane was forced to turn back for security reasons when Hamas fired rockets close to the Israeli city.

Passengers hope to flee the violence in Israel and Gaza via Ben Gurion airport
Passengers hope to flee the violence in Israel and Gaza via Ben Gurion airport. Picture: Alamy

Israel said that the missiles fired on Wednesday did not come close to the airport.

The BA flight, which set off from London, got as far as northern Israel before turning back.

Suspending flights to Tel Aviv after the incident, BA said: "Following the latest assessment of the situation we're suspending our flights to and from Tel Aviv.

Read more: Bring them home: Six-month-old baby Ariel among missing Brits in Israel after Hamas massacre

"We're contacting customers booked to travel to or from Tel Aviv to apologise for the inconvenience and offer options including a full refund and rebooking with another airline or with British Airways at a later date.

"We continue to monitor the situation in the region closely."

Rocket fire has threatened Tel Aviv
Rocket fire has threatened Tel Aviv. Picture: Alamy

Easyjet has paused its flights from Gatwick, Luton and Manchester while Virgin Atlantic said it would stop flights to the city for 72 hours.

Virgin said: "As the dynamic situation evolves, we'll keep our flying programme under constant review. Our teams will be in contact with any affected customers to discuss their options, which include rebooking to a later date or a full refund.

"We would advise anyone booked to travel to check their flight status on the website before travelling to the airport."

Wizz Air, which flies to Israel from Gatwick and Luton, has also paused those routes.