Ben Gurion airport passenger traffic up 11% in January

Ben Gurion Airport Photo: Shutterstock

Low-cost airlines are gaining ground at El Al's expense.

1.43 passengers, including both takeoffs and landings, passed through Ben Gurion Airport in January 2019, 11% more than in January 2018. January is usually off-season for vacations and tourism.

El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) was the leading carrier with 356,000 passengers, 4% fewer than in January 2018. Next on the list were low-cost airlines easyJet with 100,000 passengers, 37% more than in the corresponding month last year, and Wizz Air, which carried 81,000 passengers, 9% more than in January 2018. Turkish Airlines, which operates 10 daily flights from Tel Aviv, with connection flights to destinations around the world, took fourth place with 72,400 passengers, 4% more than in the corresponding month last year, followed by Russian airline Aeroflot, which offers passengers from Israel connection flights from Moscow to other destinations. Aeroflot carried 51,000 passengers in January 2019.

The two other Israeli airlines carried fewer than half the number of passengers carried by Turkish Airlines. Israir Airlines and Tourism Ltd. flew 21,000 passengers, down 9%, compared with January 2018, while Arkia Airlines Ltd. flew 19,500 passengers, double the number it flew in January 2018. For Israir and Arkia, which mainly market vacation packages, the winter months are a weaker time. The three Israeli airlines had a 27% combined market share.

Turkey led the list of destinations to which passengers flew from Israel, albeit mostly as a place for taking connection flights. 135,000 passengers from Ben Gurion Airport landed in Turkey in January 2019, 18% more than in January 2018. Turkey was followed by the US, Germany, France, Italy, and the UK, in all of which the number of passengers landing from Israel increased in January 2019 in comparison with the corresponding month last year.

155,000 passengers took off from Ben Gurion Airport's Terminal 1, which is designated for the rising number of low-cost airlines operating in Israel. This terminal is also expected to absorb inland flights after Sde Dov Airport is closed in July. The terminal has been enlarged in order to increase its annual capacity to 2.2 million passengers.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 13, 2019

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2019

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Ben Gurion Airport Photo: Shutterstock
Ben Gurion Airport Photo: Shutterstock
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