Flights Allowed to Operate During Israel's Coronavirus Lockdown

New coronavirus regulations accept incoming flights, but departures are only permitted for passengers who purchased tickets before Friday

Moshe Gilad
Moshe Gilad
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Passengers arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, September 16, 2020.
Passengers arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport, September 16, 2020.Credit: Moti Milrod
Moshe Gilad
Moshe Gilad

The decision to tighten the lockdown in Israel until after the Sukkot holiday also affects Ben-Gurion International Airport, but a Friday decision to allow passengers who bought tickets before the lockdown went into effect at 2 P.M. bodes well for air travel in and out of the country.

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The cancellation of many outgoing flights under the restrictions initially approved was expected to create some operational complications, but that has largely been avoided.

One of the immediate implications of the previous lockdown rules was that foreign airlines may decide to cancel their flights to Israel, since these aircraft would have to return empty. There was a concern that a few dozens of thousands of Israelis currently abroad might be forced to look for alternatives for their return, but the amended regulations change that.

Koby Zussman, Israel director for the International Air Transport Association, (IATA), had notified Transportation Minister Miri Regev that allowing only for arrivals and no departures would lead to a complete cessation of flights to Israel.

In total, some 5,800 passengers are scheduled to fly out of Ben-Gurion on 42 flights. Twelve flights will be returning from Greece and these passengers will not have to go into quarantine upon their return.

And Israir plane lands in Slovakia, March 2019.Credit: Moni Shapir

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