A Montreal doctor who splits his time between Israel and Canada told CBC Daybreak on Wednesday that cancelling flights to Tel Aviv is "rewarding terrorists."
David Zlotnick was at the gate at Montreal-Trudeau airport, 30 minutes away from boarding the plane, when his Swiss Air flight to Tel Aviv got cancelled.
The cancellation is one of many around the world after the Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S. put a temporary ban on flights in and out of Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport after a rocket from the Gaza Strip hit near the airport.
Air Canada and a number of international airlines followed suit, cancelling flights with Tel Aviv on their itineraries.
Zlotnick told CBC Daybreak host Mike Finnerty on Wednesday that he thought it was an unnecessary precaution.
“You know, I think the mood in Israel is that there isn't any particular danger for flying in,” he said, adding that he understood the concern but that it was ultimately “rewarding terrorists.”
He is still trying to figure out what his best option is — to wait out the suspension with Swiss Air, or book a British Airways flight to London and then connect to Tel Aviv on a separate airline.
Flights likely to resume soon
Consul General of Israel in Montreal Joël Lion said he’s confident airlines will start flying in and out of Ben Gurion Airport later today.
“They will see our safety and security measures on the field. They will see that it's safe to fly to Tel Aviv. and from Tel Aviv. And I'm pretty sure they will resume the flights,” Lion said.
Montreal travel agent Eli Cohen said either way, the flight cancellations have caused him quite a headache.
"We did a fast count and we have 20, 22 people, between arrivals and departures. We're getting calls from Israel, from Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem. and we're doing our best to handle each call accordingly,” he said.
The FAA is expected to give an update later today whether or not the ban will continue. Air Canada expects to make a decision about its plans today.