Israel Reopens Ben-Gurion Airport After Heavy Fog

Cargo flights diverted to Larnaca, Cyprus, but all air traffic has resumed

Hadar Kane
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Tel Aviv skyscrapers in heavy fog, January 3, 2021.
A gray area: Tel Aviv skyscrapers in heavy fog, January 3, 2021.Credit: Omri Albani
Hadar Kane

After heavy fog forced the closure of Israel's Ben-Gurion International airport, takeoffs and landings have now resumed. The Israel Airports Authority announced Monday morning that due to weather conditions in the vicinity of the airport – heavy fog and limited visibility – all flight traffic had been stopped. Two cargo flights that were due to land at Ben-Gurion airport were diverted to Larnaca, Cyprus.

Tel Aviv skyscrapers during the heavy fog, January 4, 2021.Credit: Omri Albani

In early December, due to the uptick in coronavirus infections locally and worldwide, Israeli authorities designated all foreign countries as "red," i.e., the riskiest with respect to COVID-19 infection. All travelers returning from abroad were required to self-isolate for two weeks. Returning travelers were subsequently told to enter a quarantine in specified coronavirus hotels, but that decision was later revoked.

Foggy Tel Aviv buildings, this morning.Credit: Moti Milrod
A group of people work out on the beach in Tel Aviv, January 3, 2021.Credit: Moti Milrod

Although the possibility of closing Israel's main airport for a longer period has been considered, it continues to function, with cargo flights operating as usual. Passenger flights have been reduced but are still arriving from Dubai, New York, London, Istanbul, the Seychelles and other locations.

Women playing on the beach despite the haze, in Tel Aviv, January 3, 2021.Credit: Moti Milrod
A woman braves the elements, in Tel Aviv, January 3, 2021. Credit: Moti Milrod