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MOSCOW, July 22, 23:06 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Transaero airline on Tuesday instructed the crew performing flight 311 from Moscow to Tel Aviv to return to the home airport.
The plane left Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport at 20:45 and was scheduled to land at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport at 23:50 local time. However it made a U-turn in midair and proceeded back to Moscow because of the deteriorated security situation in Israel.
The plane U-turned over Rostov and has already landed in Moscow, a source in the air traffic control service told ITAR-TASS, adding that there were 52 people aboard the plane.
Transaero also cancelled all flights to Tel Aviv scheduled for Wednesday, July 23.
Earlier in the day, Germany’s leading carrier Lufthansa and its subsidiaries SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Germanwings, as well as Belgium’s Brussels Airlines halted flights to Tel Aviv.
Air France has also decided to suspend air service to Israel for an indefinite period of time.
The U.S. aviation authorities instructed all American airlines to cancel flights to Tel Aviv because of the continuing missile attacks by Hamas.
Last week, the Russian Foreign Ministry reiterated its recommendation to Russians in Palestine and Israel to “refrain from visiting areas where armed hostilities are occurring and places that can come under fire, especially those adjacent to Gaza”.