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U.S. embassy to Americans in Israel: Fly El Al

Embassy: We do not recommend what airline people should fly and certainly did not recommend avoiding U.S. carriers

The United States embassy in Israel recommends that American citizens in Israel fly El Al, instead of the usual American carriers.

Most of the Americans in Israel are tourists, or businessmen. A conference Robertson Stephens hosted in Tel Aviv, that ended yesterday also attracted a host of representatives from leading American investment banks.

Israel has closed off its airspace to all carriers except the Israeli airlines El Al and Arkia until at least 20:00 tonight, at which time the situation will be re-examined.

The two Israeli carriers are flying as usual, with no special reported delays, the Israeli aviation authorities reported in the morning.

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A spokesperson for the U.S. embassy commented that the person who recommended not flying American carriers did not have the authority to do so and was not directed to do so. The U.S. embassy does not recommend to U.S. citizens which airlines to fly or not to fly, and certainly did not recommend avoiding American airlines.