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Monday, 13 August, 2001, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK
European airlines end overnight Israel stays
Lufthansa tail fins
Lufthansa responded to crews' fears
Lufthansa and British Airways have announced changes to their flight schedules so their crews will not have to stay overnight in Israel.

They are afraid to stay overnight in Tel Aviv

Lufthansa spokesman
The decision follows the suicide bombing in Jerusalem on Thursday which killed 15 people.

"As of today, our crews are not staying overnight," Itzhak Zaroni, Lufthansa spokesman in Israel, said on Sunday.

"They are afraid to stay overnight in Tel Aviv," he added.

Disco bombing

The changes to the schedule, which do not involve the cancellation of any flights, came at the request of the crews.

Tel Aviv beach
Security in Tel Aviv has been tight since the bombing
"You have to see it from their view point... They were here in Israel during the last big bombing," Mr Zaroni told the Jerusalem Post.

Lufthansa crews witnessed the Tel Aviv disco bombing in June - in which 21 young people died - from their hotel rooms situated nearby.

"Lufthansa has a commitment to passengers but also its crews," Mr Zaroni said.

Lufthansa has pushed back by two hours its daily Munich-Tel Aviv evening flight in order to give crews a quick turn-around time. Crews will now work both directions on the flight.

We believe Israel is still a safe place to sleep for crews

Anica Asman, Air Canada
The morning flight departing from Tel Aviv has also been affected and the Munich service which flies three times a week has undergone changes.

British Airways has also introduced changes to suspend overnight stays as a temporary measure - a final decision will be taken this week.

Flights from London to Tel Aviv will pick up fresh crews in Athens who will then work the return journey after a quick turnaround in Israel.

North Americans unconcerned

The two airlines join a number of other European companies which do not allow their crews to stay in Israel overnight.

KLM and Swissair altered their schedules recently in order to suspend overnight stays.

North American carriers have not made changes to their schedules.

"We believe Israel is still a safe place to sleep for crews," said Anica Asman, deputy general manager of Air Canada in Israel.

See also:

09 Aug 01 | Middle East
Israel stunned by Jerusalem blast
09 Aug 01 | Middle East
Eyewitness to Jerusalem bombing
21 Jun 01 | Europe
Cyber-attackers hit Lufthansa
08 Jun 01 | Business
Lufthansa agrees 20% pay rise
24 Jul 01 | Trouble in the air
Pilot blight: Strikes keep passengers grounded
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