Israeli airlines says suspending South Africa route over World Court case
El Al Israel Airlines ELAL.TA said today it was suspending its route to Johannesburg at the end of March, citing a steep drop in demand after South Africa accused Israel of genocide at the World Court.
Israel's flag carrier flies up to twice weekly nonstop to Johannesburg.
"Israelis don't want to fly to South Africa," said an El Al spokesperson. "They are cancelling flights and planes are pretty empty... We understand it's the situation because it was different before.
"The fact that the Israelis don't want to go to South Africa but do want to go to other places helps us decide that we're pausing that route," she said. The company also cited the current security situation.
UN judges will rule today on South Africa's request for emergency measures against Israel, including that it halt its military operations in Gaza, over which it faces allegations of state-led genocide at the World Court.
Israel has asked the court to reject the case outright. An Israeli government spokesperson on Thursday said they expected the UN's top court to "throw out these spurious and specious charges".
South Africa argued two weeks ago that Israel's aerial and ground offensive was aimed at bringing about "the destruction of the population" of Gaza.
El Al said once it had stopped flying to Johannesburg it would shift the widebody aircraft it uses on the route to expand current destinations to North America and Bangkok and Tokyo in Asia while examining new routes.