These figures are particularly surprising in light of the fact that majority of the 10 most active airlines in Israel recorded a decline in the number of passengers last month.
According to an Israel Airports Authority (IAA) report released last week, El Al carried some 270,000 passengers from and to Israel in November – a 4.99% drop compared to the same period last year.
Turkish Airlines came in second with nearly 30,000 passengers and a 7.56% increase. Lufthansa was next with some 27,000 passengers and a 28% fall, followed by United Airlines with 26,426 passengers (down 9.73%) and Alitalia with 24,854 passengers (an 8.7% drop).
Turkish Airlines, 7.56% increase (Photo: Ziv Reinstein)
Some 805,000 passengers passed through Ben-Gurion Airport in November, a 3.36% drop compared to the same period last year. A total of 11,637,164 passengers passed through Israel's international airport since the beginning of 2012, a mere 1.46% increase compared to the same period in 2011.
Turkish Airlines presents impressive figures for the entire year as well. While El Al recorded a mere 2% increase, Arkia registered a 16.58% decline and Lufthansa a 5.53% decline, the Turkish airline presented an 8.92% increase in the number of passengers it carried between Tel Aviv and Istanbul.
The possible explanation is that some of these passengers continue with the company to different destinations in East Asia, North America and Western Europe. In addition, the fact that the prices are relatively cheap, along with good service, has helped dissolved the Israeli "boycott."
32.35% leap in number of passengers
Another interesting figure relates to the flight destinations from Israel: Although the number of passengers on the Israel-Turkey route places Turkey in the seventh spot – after the United States, Russia, England, Germany, France and Italy – the number of passengers between Israel and all these countries has dropped or just slightly increased, while the number of passengers to Turkey has recorded a 32.25% leap.
Moreover, an analysis of the number of passengers from Israel abroad according to their first destination points to a 7.75% increase in the number of passengers on the Tel Aviv-Istanbul route.