Israel's Passover Tourism 25% Higher Than in 2013

Some 8,000 planes are expected to take off or land during the Passover travel season

Zohar Blumenkrantz
Zohar Blumenkrantz
Passengers at Ben-Gurion International Airport.
Passengers at Ben-Gurion International Airport.Credit: Nir Keidar
Zohar Blumenkrantz
Zohar Blumenkrantz

As the Passover holiday drew to a close on Monday, it was projected that 1.2 million international airline passengers would pass through Ben-Gurion International Airport over the holiday season, a 25% increase over last year, the Israel Airports Authority reported.

Passenger volume is expected to be particularly busy on Tuesday, with tens of thousands of Israelis returning home and large numbers of foreign tourists who spent the holiday in Israel ending their stays.

A number of airlines added capacity to meet the demand. Passover began on Monday of last week and passenger traffic peaked at the airport the day before, when 63,000 passengers arrived or departed on 400 international flights. All told, about 8,000 planes are expected to have landed or taken off at the airport during the holiday travel period, which continues for another week until April 27. This year, the most popular destinations for Israelis traveling abroad included Turkey, the United States, Russia, Italy and France.

The IAA is recommending that departing passengers check in online, and that they arrive at Ben-Gurion airport three hours before departure time for international flights. The authority has set up free-standing check-in stands throughout Terminal 3. That facility is marking its 10th anniversary this year, airport director Shmuel Zakai noted. The older Terminal 1 building has been opened to discount carriers.

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