Thousands of Israelis Still Stranded in London, Paris Due to Volcano Ash

Air traffic between Israel and Europe was restored on Wednesday; 480 flights were canceled last week.

Tens of thousands of passengers passed through Ben-Gurion International Airport on Wednesday afternoon after air traffic between Israel and Europe was restored.

Civil aviation had been suspended throughout much of Europe over the last week due to the ash which drifted across the continent following the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland. Of the 1,500 flights scheduled at Ben-Gurion last week, 480 were canceled.

Airlines will be beefing up service from Israel to meet pent-up demand.

According to airport director Shmuel Kandel, about 75,000 passengers were affected by the cancellations. The largest concentration of Israelis still awaiting return flights are in London and Paris.

The CEO of El Al charter subsidiary Sun D'Or, Bezalel Karvat, said thousands of Israelis remain stranded in those two cities.