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Wednesday,  May 22, 2024 7:29 PM 

Air Canada cancels Israel flights until Thursday after Iran's attack, activates flexible policy

Air Canada cancels Israel flights until Thursday after Iran's attack, activates flexible policy
(Air Canada)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

Due to recent developments in the Middle East, Air Canada’s operations to and from Tel Aviv, Israel have been paused for the next few days, PAX has learned.

The move comes after Iran launched dozens of drones and ballistic missiles toward Israel in an unprecedented attack on Saturday (April 13).

Almost all the 300 missiles and drones Iran launched at Israel were intercepted and failed to meet their targets during the five-hour attack, according to Israeli and American officials, CNN reports.

In response, Air Canada – after resuming flights between Canada and Israel days earlier following a six-month pause – cancelled Saturday's flight from Toronto to Tel Aviv.

READ MORE: Air Canada restores flights to Tel Aviv after six-month pause

That flight was originally scheduled to depart Toronto Pearson airport at 4:25 p.m. On its website, Air Canada said the flight was cancelled "because of government or regulatory restrictions outside our control."

PAX followed up with Air Canada on Sunday night (April 14) and spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick said the airline has also cancelled its Tel Aviv flight for Monday (Apr. 15) and Tuesday (April 16), as well as the corresponding return flights.

Air Canada’s next flight from Toronto to Tel Aviv is now scheduled for this Thursday (April 18), Fitzpatrick said. “We are very closely monitoring the situation and will adjust accordingly,” he wrote in an email.

In normal circumstances, Air Canada operates four non-stop, return flights a week from Toronto to Tel Aviv.

Flexible rebooking policy activated

Air Canada has activated a flexible rebooking policy as a result.

Travellers that are currently scheduled to travel to, from or via Tel Aviv (TLV), Israel, and wish to make alternative arrangements, Air Canada has implemented a policy that makes it possible for them to make voluntary changes to their itinerary if:

  • They purchased an Air Canada ticket no later than April 13, 2024, for travel between April 13, 2024, and May 15, 2024.
  • If they are scheduled to travel during the affected period, they can retrieve their booking and change to another Air Canada flight, free of charge, on another date between now and June 30, 2024, based on the fare originally purchased. Otherwise, any fare difference will apply.

If travellers choose to cancel their flight, they will receive a full refund, says Air Canada. Click here for more details. 

The Government of Canada, as of April 14, is advising Canadians to avoid all travel to Israel due to the increased risk of attacks.

"With a heightened risk of attacks on Israeli territory, the regional security situation remains highly volatile & could escalate without notice," Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly posted on social media on Friday. "Canadians should consider leaving by commercial means."

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