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BA plane u-turns from Tel Aviv after flights are suspended



British Airways has suspended flights to Israel after turning back one of its planes shortly before landing, due to security concerns.

Flight BA165 has returned to Heathrow after nearly reaching Tel Aviv on Wednesday, BA said.

A spokesperson for Israel’s airports authority said rockets were flying around Tel Aviv at the time but were not an immediate threat to the flight.

Virgin Atlantic also suspended flights to the city on Wednesday.

A BA spokesman said safety was the airline’s “highest priority”.


As flight BA165 was approaching Tel Aviv, air raid sirens went off in the city. British Airways teams were made aware of this and asked the captain to turn around and return to the UK.

“Following the latest assessment of the situation, we’re suspending our flights to and from Tel Aviv,” BA said.

“We’re contacting customers booked to travel to or from Tel Aviv to apologise for the inconvenience and offer options including a full refund and rebooking with another airline or with British Airways at a later date.

“We continue to monitor the situation in the region closely.”

Since Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked Israel on Saturday, many international airlines have suspended flights to and from Tel Aviv, and securing flight bookings has become increasingly difficult.


For example, the first non-stop single flight available on El Al from Tel Aviv to Luton was on Friday 20 October, priced at $366 (£297).

On Tuesday, one travel agent said he been “inundated” with calls from people trying to get flights back to the UK.

EasyJet, Ryanair, Wizz Air, Air France, Lufthansa and Emirates have all suspended flights.

No evacuation
The UK government has not provided an estimate on how many UK citizens are in Israel, and no evacuation is currently planned.

However, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has advised people to register their presence to share updates “including information to support you to leave the country”.


The government department advises against all but essential travel to Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Gaza and other parts of the region.

Travel insurance may not be valid if people travel against FCDO advice.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said that while the UK government has a duty to support its citizens, “the situation here is a bit different because a lot of the Brits are dual nationals and regard Israel as their home”.

“We will work closely with the Israeli government to provide support, if needed,” he said. “We are working with the aviation industry and on border crossings. We are also in talks with Egypt on any Britons in Gaza.”



Israel Has No Right To Defend Itself – Russia



Israel has no right to defend itself as it is an occupying power, Russia’s representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, said yesterday.

Nebenzya pointed out, during his speech before the emergency special session of the UN General Assembly, that the United Nations does not have the right to give Israel an absolute mandate to carry out a ground operation in Gaza.

“The only thing they can muster is continued pronouncements about Israel’s supposed right to self defence, although as an occupying power, it does not have that power as confirmed by the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice handed down in 2004,” he explained.

He stressed his country’s call to stop the bloodshed in the Middle East, to avoid expanding the scope of the crisis to the entire region, and to work on a diplomatic solution to it.

“As for Israel’s security – and we recognise its rights to ensure its security – this security can only be fully guaranteed if we resolve the Palestinian issue on the basis of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”


He added that sooner or later, a diplomatic solution will have to be taken, but the question is how many innocent people will die during this time.

Nebenzya noted that Russia cannot turn a blind eye to the flagrant violations of international humanitarian law committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip, pointing out that entire neighbourhoods have been flattened.

He also accused the US and its allies of “hypocrisy,” saying that “in other completely different situations are issuing appeals for the respect of humanitarian law, establishing investigation committees, imposing sanctions on those who are actually genuinely only resorting to force as a last resort to put an end to years of violence,” in an apparent reference to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

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Indonesia Conducts First Commercial Flight Using Palm Oil-blended Jet Fuel



Indonesia conducts first commercial flight using palm oil-blended jet fuel

Indonesia on Friday flew its first commercial flight using palm oil-blended jet fuel, as the world’s biggest producer of the commodity pushes for wider use of biofuels to cut fuel imports.

Operated by flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, the Boeing 737-800NG aircraft carried more than 100 passengers from the capital Jakarta to Surakarta city about 550 kilometres (342 miles) away, Garuda Indonesia CEO Irfan Setiaputra said.

“We will discuss further with Pertamina, Energy Ministry and other parties to ensure this fuel is commercially reasonable,” Irfan said during a ceremony, adding the plane was set to return to Jakarta later on Friday.

Garuda conducted several tests including a flight test on the new fuel earlier this month and an engine ground test in August.


According to Reuters, the palm-oil blended jet fuel is produced by Indonesian state energy firm PT Pertamina (PERTM.UL) at its Cilacap refinery, using hydroprocessed esters and fatty acid (HEFA) technology and is made of refined bleached deodorized palm kernel oil.

Pertamina has said the palm-based fuel emits less atmosphere warming greenhouse gases compared with fossil fuels, and palm oil producing countries have called for the edible oil to be included in feedstock for the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), Reuters reports.

“In 2021, Pertamina successfully produced 2.0 SAF in its Cilacap unit using co-processing technology and was made of refined bleached deodorized palm kernel oil with production capacity 1,350 kilolitres per day,” said Alfian Nasution, a director at Pertamina.

Meanwhile, Harris Yahya, a director at the Energy Ministry, said the use of biofuel would lower the greenhouse effect.

The aviation industry, a major emitter of greenhouse gases, is looking for ways to cut its carbon footprint by using alternative fuels.


Experts say the industry will need 450 billion litres of SAF a year by 2050, if the fuel is to account for around 65% of the mitigation needed to achieve net-zero targets.

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