DUBAI (Reuters) – Dubai airline Emirates has postponed the Dec. 6 launch of flights to Tel Aviv until further notice, a company spokesperson said on Sunday, after Israel announced it would ban foreigners from entering in to combat the latest coronavirus variant.
“The postponement comes as a result of recent changes in entry protocols issued by the Israeli government. The airline is committed to launching services to Tel Aviv as soon as the situation allows,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennet on Saturday said the country would ban all foreigners from entering for 14 days as it awaits more information on how effective COVID-19 vaccines are against the Omicron variant first detected in South Africa.
Emirates was set to be the third United Arab Emirates airline, after flydubai and Etihad Airways, to start direct flights to Tel Aviv since the two countries established diplomatic relations last year.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by David Goodman)