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Whatever the impact of Maxim's controversial Israel tribute, the Israel Airports Authority is already gearing up for a busy summer season, predicting more traffic in and out of Ben-Gurion Airport than in any summer since 2000.
The IAA expects that 2.2 million tourists on some 13,000 flights will pass in and out of Ben-Gurion in July and August, and predicts record-setting numbers of arrivals and departures on eight dates in August.
The 2.2 million entries and exits keep Ben-Gurion on course for a total of 9.24 million this year, also the highest number of any year since 2000, when the airport recorded 9.3 million arrivals and departures.
The numbers include travel by Israelis, some 150,000 of whom are expected to fly to the US. A similar number will travel to Turkey during July and August, while another 250,000 will fly to France, Germany or Italy.
Duty Free shops preparing for extra traffic
Particularly pleased about Ben-Gurion's predicted summer traffic should be Sakal and James Richardson, two of the airport's duty free shops. Both are offering special deals for the coming months, with Sakal lowering prices on toys and electronics ranging from DVD players to espresso makers. James Richardson, meanwhile, has teamed up with Avis Rent-a-Car, promising discounts of 10 percent on sporting goods to travelers with documents stating they're renting a vehicle from Avis once they arrive overseas.