Israel Update: Canada Sending Evacuation Flights, Plus News From IMOT, Collette
In a statement posted on X – formerly Twitter — Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Melanie Joly’s advised that the Canadian government would be sending Canadian Armed Forces flights to evacuate Canadians in Israel.
Minister Joly’s statement reads in full:
“I know that this situation has been difficult. Many of you want to return home to your family and have no way to do so safely.
We will help you.
We are planning to being the assisted departure of Canadians from Tel Aviv in the coming days, with the help of aircraft from the Canadian Armed Forces.
These flights will be available to Canadian citizens, their spouses and their children, as well as Canadian Permanent Residences, their spouses and their children.
We are also working on additional options for those who cannot reach the airport in Tel Aviv.
We will have more details to share [today] but in the meantime please register with Global Affairs Canada at (+1) 613-996-8885 or [email protected] . This is how we will share information directly with you.
Our team in Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Ottawa continue to work around the clock to answer your questions and provide you with the support you need.”
According to Global Affairs Canada, 3,200 Canadians in Israel, along with 500 in Gaza and the West Bank have registered with it.
IMOT Issues Statement & Advice
In a statement to the industry, the Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT) said that it is “deeply saddened by the events that took place at our southern border with Gaza” on Sat., Oct. 7.
As a result of the events, the government has declared a state of emergency, the statement continued.
“The safety and security of our visitors is our top priority, and we are working to ensure their well-being in every way possible. IMOT, in collaboration with relevant authorities, is working to assist those who wish to depart from Israel,” IMOT states.
It notes that while Canadian and US carriers have suspended flights to Israel, Ben Gurion International Airport remains open, and many flights are still departing Israel. Travellers should continue to check the status of flights and the status of Ben Gurion International Airport by going to https://www.iaa.gov.il/en/
The Ministry of Tourism is operating a “virtual office” reachable via WhatsApp (+972 55 972 6931) or email ([email protected]).
Travellers currently in Israel can dial 104 for information or contact Home Front Command on WhatsApp or SMS on +972 52 910 4104.
IMOT will provide updates on travel to and around Israel as new information is available.
Collette Cancels All Israel Departures To The End of 2023
Collette advises that it has cancelled all of its departures to Israel through the remainder of the calendar year. Future departures for Jan. 1, 2024 and on will be evaluated well in advance of travel.
Over the weekend, Collette was able to ensure that nearly 100 travellers who were on tour in the region were able to fly home safely. The company made the early decision to move groups North to Jordan so they could fly out of the Amman airport, rather than waiting for flights out of Tel Aviv.
Jeff Roy, Executive Vice President at Collette, said: “We are deeply saddened by the events that transpired in Israel over the weekend, and we hope that the Israeli people will be able to quickly bring safety, security and stability back to the region.”
Roy continued: “As a result of these events, we will cancel all departures to Israel through Dec. 31, 2023. For departures Jan. 1, 2024 and forward, we will closely monitor the developments in Israel and make operating decisions for these tours at least 60-days in advance of travel.”
Go to www.gocollette.com for more.