After months of growth in passenger traffic through Ben Gurion Airport, March ended with 1.7 million passengers, the same number as in March 2018. Passenger traffic on international flights through Ben Gurion Airport 2019 totaled 4.49 million in January-March, 5.6% more than in the corresponding period last year. There were 46,400 passengers on inland flights to Eilat in March, 10% less than in March 2018. The Passover holiday, which falls in April this year, fell in March last year.
150,000 of the international passengers in March traveled on low-cost flights from Terminal 1 at Ben Gurion Airports, 4% fewer than last year.
The market share of Israeli airlines continues to fall. 425,000 passengers flew El Al in March, 7% fewer than in March 2018. The number of passengers on easyJet, the second most popular airline, was up 19% to 108,000. The number of passengers on Turkish Airlines, the third most popular airlines, fell 1.5% to 96,000, and the number of passengers on Wizz Air grew 10.5% to 92,000. The number of passengers flying Israir in March sank 19.5% to 31,600, while the number of passengers flying Arkia Airlines was up 4.6% to 38,200.
The number of passengers flying El Al in January-March fell 4% to 1.21 million, while the low-cost airlines gained passengers: the number of passengers on easyJet rose 25% to 307,000 in this period, while the number of passengers on Wizz Air rose 17% to 266,000.
The number of passengers on Turkish Airlines and Aeroflot, most of whose passengers take connection flights to various destinations, was about the same in the first quarter of this year and the first quarter of last year. Turkish Airlines flew 242,000 passengers; while Aeroflot flew 160,000 passengers.
The three Israeli airlines had an aggregate market share of 28.5% in the first quarter, 2.5% less than in the first quarter last year. El Al's market share was less than 25%, 4% less than in the first quarter of 2018.
The leading destination for passengers from Israel (as an intermediate stop) was Turkey, following by the US (9% fewer than in the March 2018), France, Italy, Germany, the UK, and Russia (as an intermediate stop in many cases).
Among the countries with impressive growth in passenger traffic from Israel were Austria (an 83% increase), Georgia (40%), China (26%), and Lithuania (65%).
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 10, 2019
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