The US Department of Transportation has warned it would prevent Israel’s El Al flights from landing in American airports if Tel Aviv continues to prevent American planes from landing in Israel, Israeli media reported yesterday.
According to the Israeli TV Channel 12, the US Department of Transportation demanded that Israel allow US airlines to fly rescue flights for stranded Israelis in the country and not to allow Israel’s national carrier El Al to carry out the mission.
Washington, according to the report, told Israel that its decision to only allow the Israeli airline to move stranded passengers to their homes is a violation of aviation agreements between the two countries.
The Biden administration sent a message to Israel saying that both American and Israeli carriers should be allowed to fly the routes to prevent a potential crisis between the two sides.
The report pointed out that Israel is afraid that other countries, including the UK would take the same steps.
Israeli media said that the Transportation Ministry would have held an emergency meeting to discuss the matter yesterday.
Israel banned passenger flights in and out of the country from 25 January as part of a national lockdown to help stem the spread of coronavirus.