Photo: Motti Kimchi
Ben Gurion Airport
Photo: Motti Kimchi
4.5 million expected to pack Ben Gurion Airport this summer
Between July and August, both Israelis and tourists will pass through Ben Gurion Airport's gates; Transportation minister welcomes surge, attributes 'revolution' to 'open skies' policy.
Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport is preparing for a particularly a busy travel period this July and August, with approximately 4.5 million passengers, both Israelis and tourists, expected to pass through its gates as they embark on, and return from, their summer holidays.



According to data compiled by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), an average of 1,360 flights are expected per week during the summer months, marking an increase of 13% when compared with the same period last year. Around 63% of all the expected flights will be travelling to Europe.


The forecasts and data collated at the beginning of the year show that close to 2 million Israelis will take off between July and August.


Ben Gurion Airport prepares for busy summer (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Ben Gurion Airport prepares for busy summer (Photo: Motti Kimchi)


The CAA’s figures also illustrate that as a result of Israel’s “open skies” policy, which was signed with the European Union in 2013, Israel is on track to record, by this summer, a 43 percent increase in the number of flights taking off from, and landing on, the airports tarmac when compared to the summer of 2013.


During this timeframe, departures to Europe grew by 51 percent while the remaining flights to other destinations grew by 32 percent.


Istanbul, the data shows, will be the most popular destination for those setting out from Tel Aviv this summer, with 91 weekly flights to be made by Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines.


Nevertheless, the vast majority of flights departing for Istanbul will be stopover journeys as passengers press on to European, Far East or American destinations.


The second most popular route will be between Tel Aviv and London, with 65 weekly flights in the summer spanning across six airlines, including El Al, British Airways, EasyJet, Monarch, Wizz Air and Arkia.


Photo: Motti Kimchi
Photo: Motti Kimchi


Flights to and from Paris are expected to take third place, with 61 weekly flights operated by five companies, including El Al, Air France, EasyJet, Transavia and Arkia.


Closely following as the fourth and fifth most popular flight routes will be Tel Aviv-Moscow, with 57 flights, and Larnaca, in which 55 flights will land from seven airlines which will include Arkia, Aegean, Tus Airways, Israir, El Al, Cobalt and airblue.


Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) welcomed the bustling airport activity, claiming that the increasing number of passengers packings its perimeter stemmed from Israel’s signing of the open skies agreement.


Katz cited a 50 percent surge in the number of flights between Israel and other destinations since the signing of the open skies agreement.


“Updating the aviation agreements while increasing the frequency cap and the number of airlines that are permitted to operate regular
flights to Israel is a national strategic goal for the country,” Katz said.


“The additional flights and competition has brought about a consumer revolution while the Israeli public is the main beneficiary due to the variety of destinations there are and mainly because of the drop in flight prices."


פרסום ראשון: 05.01.17, 09:54
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