Hundreds of Israeli’s that were abroad in Peru are now returning to Israel via El Al Airlines; Peru initially prevented the flights from Cusco to Lima over fears of further spreading the virus.
After originally being denied flights from Cusco (southern Peru) to the capital city of Lima in order to fly back to Israel, hundreds of Israelis are now on their way back to the Jewish State via El Al Airlines as of Thursday. It is estimated that there are thousands of Israelis throughout South America.
El Al Airlines is conducting the journey that includes four 787-Dreamliners. One way to Lima, Peru, is a 16-hour flight, which makes this rescue trip the longest flight any El Al airliner has ever done. Earlier in the week, Israelis that were stuck in the southern region of Peru were barred from making their way to the capital city amid fears of spreading the virus even more. Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz stated, “With the help of God everyone will return home safely.”
After Katz was able to connect with his counterpart in Peru, the barriers were removed and they were able to make their way to Lima. Upon arrival, the Israelis were required to split into smaller groups while they waited at the airport.
Israel’s foreign ministry released a statement calling on all Israeli citizens to return home immediately as travel is becoming few and far between: “Given the reductions and cancellation of flights worldwide, and the moves by countries to close their airspace and their borders because of the coronavirus outbreak, we are again calling on those Israelis abroad who want to come home to do so as soon as possible.”
Any and all Israelis who return must undergo a 14-day quarantine, though, they won’t feel alone because most citizens are already remaining at home in an attempt to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Israel has reported zero fatalities thus far.