Foreign Air Service to Israel, Suspended for War, Now Resumes

Foreign airlines are about to resume service to Israel, which they suspended in mid-January on the eve of the Persian Gulf war.

Greece’s Olympic Airlines, the last of the international carriers to abandon Ben-Gurion Airport, will return there on March 5.

Olympic has not flown to Israel since Jan. 15, the U.N. deadline for Iraq’s withdrawal from Kuwait. For the time being, it will fly twice weekly from Athens, returning eventually to its former schedule of three flights a week.

British Airways will follow Olympic. Germany’s Lufthansa had planned to be the first foreign airline to resume service to Israel. But that decision was postponed for unspecified reasons.

Lufthansa expects to be flying here again some time next week.

The withdrawal of foreign carriers in time of crisis proved the value of El Al, Israel’s national airline. For the past five weeks, it has been Israel’s only regular air connection with the rest of the world.

Tower Air, an American charter service, also continued to fly to Israel but was limited by its insurers to carrying outbound passengers only.

Malev, the Hungarian national airline, has resumed charter flights bringing Soviet immigrants to Israel via Budapest. There have never been direct flights from Moscow.

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