UK’s Efforts to Repatriate Nationals from Israel Face Two Consecutive Setbacks

UK’s Efforts to Repatriate Nationals from Israel Face Two Consecutive Setbacks

Two Failed Attempts to Repatriate British Nationals from Israel

Despite concerted efforts by the UK Government, two planned repatriation flights for British nationals in Israel have encountered difficulties and were ultimately canceled.

This contrasts with successful repatriation flights arranged by the US and Australia.

Cancellation Amid Ongoing Israel-Hamas Conflict

The first UK-organized flight, originally scheduled to land at Gatwick Airport on a Friday morning, was canceled due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

A subsequent attempt to arrange a flight landing at Gatwick in the evening also faced challenges.

Government Response and Ongoing Efforts

The Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) acknowledged the fluid nature of the situation and expressed their commitment to ensuring the flight’s eventual departure.

The FCDO had announced plans to organize these flights, emphasizing that they would be available to British nationals and their dependents, including dual nationals.

Each ticket was priced at £300 to cover operational costs, with additional consideration for the dependants of British diplomats.

Contrasting Successes in Repatriation

While the UK faced difficulties, several other flights from Israel to the UK continued as planned.

These included scheduled services by Israeli airline El Al to Heathrow and Luton airports and a repatriation flight for Australian nationals to Heathrow, organized by the Australian government and operated by Qantas.

Additionally, a series of flights from Eilat, operated by Czech airline Smartwings on behalf of the US government, landed in Stansted Airport.

Impact on Air Travel between Israel and the UK

The challenges with repatriation efforts have led to disruptions in air travel between Israel and the UK, with airlines like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, easyJet, and Wizz Air suspending their flights on this route.

The situation remains dynamic, and the UK Government continues to work towards resolving the repatriation issues.

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