Sde Dov Airport will be closed down at midnight June 30, as planned. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel has no choice and that Eilat will receive NIS 400 million in compensation.
Arkia Airlines and Israir have been instructed to remove their airplanes by 11:59 tonight.
Announcement of the closure tonight came after last minute meetings between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Transport Bezalel Smotrich, which began yesterday and continued today. Business at the airport continued today as usual. Passengers are arriving and are being informed that their return flights will probably land at Ben Gurion Airport.
Eti, who one month ago ordered a family vacation in Eilat, says that they told her that the return flight next Thursday might land at Ben Gurion Airport, "but I didn't believe it. I thought that as usual in Israel, everything would change at the last minute." She adds, "Only in the past few days have I heard people speaking about Sde Dov, waiting for Netanyahu or something, so we'll see what he says. If he wants to change it, I believe that he will."
A ground crew member at Arkia told "Globes" that as an act of despair, the possibility of disrupting flights today was being considered. Three more flights appear on the flight schedule, with the last one taking off at 8:55pm. It was eventually decided to allow normal activity to proceed. "Our committee is trying to protect us. This uncertainty is terrible. We have no idea what will happen tomorrow," he says, and shows me his future shift timetable with no shifts marked. "We have no idea. They didn't talk to us. Everyone is waiting for Netanyahu's decision, but where will I go tomorrow morning? I don't know."
A security employee employed at Sde Dov by an external company for the past four years sounds angry and forlorn. "Everyone is embittered and frustrated. Maybe we can sign up at the Employment Bureau? We don’t know what will happen tomorrow."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on June 30, 2019
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