Israel's International Airport Expecting Record Number of Flights

Over 500 flights are carrying nearly 70,000 passengers into and out of Israel, national airport authority announces.

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Passengers line up at the departure terminal of Ben-Gurion International Airport, Sept. 2014.Credit: Moti Milrod

Ben-Gurion International Airport was scheduled to set a one-day personal best for air traffic – 521 flights in and out - as an usually large number of planes crowded Cyprus' airspace, which abuts the flight paths from Israel and nearby countries, the Israel Airports Authority announced.

The IAA said the swarm of activity at Ben-Gurion - 263 landings and 258 takeoffs, to carry nearly 70,000 passengers by midnight - occurred because today marks the beginning of Europe's fall holiday season.

Swiss airlines was forced to cancel an afternoon flight to Zurich when the morning flight from the city to Ben-Gurion didn't take off due to the overload of traffic.

IAA officials said pressure at Ben-Gurion airport would ease up in the late hours.

Israel is expecting 1.4 million passengers to pass through the airport over the High Holy Day season, which began Wednesday with Rosh Hashanah and ends just after Simhat Torah, Globes reported. Greece, Italy, the United States, Germany, Russia and France are the most popular destinations, according to Globes, while Turkey will be used frequently as a transit stop.

The airport will close Friday afternoon in observance of the Yom Kippur holiday and reopen Saturday night.

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