Check In, Work Out, Take Off

Ben-Gurion to open fitness center for health-conscious fliers

Air travelers will soon be able to squeeze in a workout ahead of take-off, as Ben-Gurion International Airport prepares to open its first fitness facility this week.

The gym, which follows an international trend, will be run by the Zeus fitness chain as a private franchise, and will be located in Terminal 3's departure hall. Compared to similar facilities at other international airports, this one will be relatively small, at 200 square meters, enough for about 30 people at a time.

The gym, which cost around NIS 4 million to build, primarily targets businesspeople and frequent fliers, although all travelers may use the facility for a fee. This will let travelers leave work an hour early, work out and shower at the airport before boarding their flights.

Many airports around the world offer other health services such as spas, in conjunction with their fitness centers. These services will arrive late to Ben-Gurion, and will be far less extensive than their counterparts in Europe, Asia and the United States.

The gym was originally scheduled to open last month, but a dispute erupted between the Israel Airports Authority and Zeus over the right to sell food and alcohol to customers. The airports authority refused to grant Zeus sales rights, claiming this was the prerogative of licensed food and beverage merchants at the airport.

When Zeus' appeal was rejected, this paved the way for the fitness center to open.