Ben Gurion Airport Terminal 1 opening delayed - plane ticket prices sky rocket

Israel Airport Authority suspends Terminal 1 out of fear of losing over NIS 200 million annually in operation costs, however, as flight prices surge and the Transportation Ministry considers either forcing a reopen or approving reduced airport fees

Yuval Azulay|
The Transport and Road Safety Ministry of Transportation is considering reopening Terminal 1 at Ben Gurion Airport in about two weeks after its operations were suspended due to a sharp decline in passenger traffic since the start of the war in October, as reported on Monday.
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A source within the ministry told Ynet's sister publication "Calcalist" that "there is a good chance of resuming Terminal 1 operations starting April 1, even if it requires forcing the decision on the Israel Airports Authority."
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Terminal 1 at Ben Gurion Airport
(Photo: Shaul Golan)
The struggle over Terminal 1 gained momentum after the Ryanair complained about its closure, affecting its ticket costs. It requested either the terminal's reopening or a reduction in airport fees to match the terminal's rates.
The Israel Airports Authority opposes the reopening of Terminal 1 because, with the current passenger traffic, there is no justification for it, as its operational costs stand at between NIS 200 to 300 million per year ($54.7-82.1 million).
Additionally, reopening Terminal 1 while the war continues could lead the IAA to face a severe shortage of security personnel, as hundreds of security personnel have been recruited by the IDF since October. There is also concern within the IAA that with the renewed operation of Terminal 1, more and more airlines will request to operate from it to lower ticket prices due to reduced airport fees.
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Terminal 1
(Photo: Shutterstock/ Roman Yanushevsky)
In response to Ryanair's allegations, Transportation Minister Miri Regev attempted to allow passengers of low-cost airlines to continue paying low airport fees, at the rate of Terminal 1, even if their flight departs from Terminal 3.
Regev hoped that such a move would incentivize low-cost airlines to renew their operations in Israel, expand their offerings to passengers, revitalize competition that has waned since October, and thereby lower prices. Sources close to Regev told "Calcalist" that the matter is being handled by the legal advisor of the ministry, Attorney Ya'el Cohen, and her team, and they believe that the change should be enforced soon.
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