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Grounded flights strand Swedes in Tel Aviv

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Photo: Matt Rourke/TT
09:26 CEST+02:00
UPDATE: About 270 passengers planning to fly to Stockholm are still stranded in Tel Aviv, and airlines have stated that flights will likely be grounded on Thursday as well.

Plans to rebook SAS passengers from Tel Aviv onto other flights have fallen through, as flight agencies continue to ground planes to and from Israel.

"We have been unable to rebook through other agencies," Charlotte Holmberg Jacobsson, press manager for Norwegian, told news agency TT on Wednesday evening.

"And now we also think that it is all too insecure to book with other companies, since it is unclear if it is even safe to fly. We're following the situaiton minute by minute."

A rocket struck near Ben Gurion Airport in Israel on Tuesday, prompting SAS and several other airlines to cancel all flights to and from the airport on Wednesday. Israeli authorities stated that it was safe to land in Tel Aviv, but a row of international airlines as yet to resume flights.

Almost 200 passengers who had planned to fly to Arlanda Airport in Stockholm have been left stranded in the city.  Almost as many who had planned to travel from Stockholm to Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning were also hit by the cancellations.

Norwegian has also cancelled flights to Tel Aviv, affecting 100 passengers who had booked flights from Arlanda which means there are currently no flights plying the route. Flights from Copenhagen were also grounded by both airlines. German Lufthansa also cancelled flights, and an Italian airline followed suit.

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The airline plans to ground its Israel flights for at least 24 hours, likely extending to flights on Thursday as well. SAS and Norwegian both have flights scheduled Tel Aviv on Thursday, from Copenhagen and Arlanda. Neither has confirmed whether or not the flights will indeed leave as scheduled. 

 "But we will probably cancel the flight since the situation is so insecure," Jacobsson said.""The situation has escalated today and we do this for safety reasons on behalf of our passengers and staff."

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