The first international flight has landed at the recently opened Ramon Airport near Eilat. A Ryanair jetliner landed at the airport yesterday, and took off on the return flight to Prague, and was followed shortly by another Ryanair flight to Poznan.
Israir Airlines and Tourism and Arkia Airlines are gradually transferring their domestic flights to and from Eilat to the new airport, with the old Eilat Airport in the city center due to shut down on March 18.
The Israel Airports Authority is currently operating a passenger shuttle service between Ramon Airport and Eilat, which runs every 15 minutes.
The international flights from Europe currently landing at Ovda Airport will gradually be switched to Ramon Airport until the process is completed by April 2.
Ramon Airport is located 20 kilometers from central Eilat. Passengers have the option of getting to and from the airport and the city using shuttles, taxis (NIS 100 in each direction), and buses (NIS 4 per trip). The buses do not run on the Sabbath.
Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz says that Ramon Airport will be used for international and domestic civil aviation to the south in place of the existing airports in Eilat and Ovda. He adds that the new airport will service as another international airport for Israel, and as an alternative to Ben Gurion Airport in an emergency.
"The skies of Eilat and the Negev are being opened to competition and are joining the open skies policy that has led to competition and a dramatic drop in flight prices, accompanied by huge growth in the number of passengers - over 22 million in the past year, compared with only 10 million in 2009. The target for the current year is 25 million passengers," Katz said.
Airlines landing at Ramon Airport are exempt from landing fees. International airlines receive a grant of €60 per passenger flying with them, whether foreign tourist or Israeli.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 5, 2019
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