Passenger traffic at Ben Gurion airport up 16% in 2018

Ben Gurion Airport Photo: Shutterstock

Israeli airlines are losing ground to low-cost foreign airlines.

Almost 1.9 million passengers went through Ben Gurion Airport in April 2018, 7.5% more than in April 2017. The number of passengers in January-April was 6.1 million, 16% more than in the corresponding period last year.

El Al was the leader in April with over 480,000 passengers, the same number as in April 2017. Low-cost airlines, however, such as Wizz Air and easyJet, substantially increased the number of their passengers. Wizz Air was in third place with almost 90,000 passengers, 85% more than in the preceding year. The increase is attributable to the increase in the number of Wizz's routes to and from Israel, among other things. easyJet flew 82,000 passengers, 20% more than in the corresponding period last year, putting it in fourth place.

Turkish Airlines, which finished in second place, was again the strongest foreign airline in Israel with 97,000 passengers in April. Aeroflot was in fourth place with 68,000 passengers, followed by Turkish company Pegasus. Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot, and Pegasus all offer connection flights to various destinations, with most of their passengers continuing on to destinations in Europe, the US, and the Far East.

After having increased the number of its passengers for months on end, Israir lost passengers in April 2018, falling to 47,000 passengers, 27% fewer than in the corresponding period last year. Arkia flew fewer than 38,000 passengers in April 2018, 31% fewer than in April 2017. In other words, the foreign airlines gained ground at the expense of the Israeli airlines.

The leading destination for Israeli passengers in April was Turkey (mainly as an interim stop), followed by the US, Italy, Germany, France, and Russia. One destination that posted a big gain in popularity, 75%, was Poland, while the number of passengers flying to Bulgaria rose 55%. Other destinations with increases in the number of passengers flying there included India (a new route by Air India was opened), Portugal, and Azerbaijan, which also has direct flights from Israel.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on May 9, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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