Ben Gurion Airport.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
On the day with the peak number of passengers to ever fly through the nation’s main air gateway, the Israel Airports Authority announced that 2015 has broken all-time passenger records for summer travel.
More than 2 million passengers have flown in and out of the airport so far this August, with summer travel beating all forecasts and national records, the air regulator said. On Thursday alone, more than 79,800 passengers traveling on 457 flights passed through the airport. The surge in August air traffic follows a July that featured a 20 percent jump in passenger numbers and a 10 percent rise in flights compared to the same month the previous year, it said.
An IAA official said that the nation’s main air artery was well equipped to handle the dramatic increase in travelers and flights experienced this year. The integration of new technology at the airport allows passengers to proceed with independent check-in procedures and gives them the option to print boarding passes at home and use the biometric passport control system.
In addition, a TLV Airport mobile application is now available for both Android and Apple devices, allowing travelers to look up flight information and check in to their flights directly from a dedicated program on their smartphones.
The IAA attributed the significant increase in traffic flow in part to the Open Skies agreement, which has greatly expanded both the number of airlines operating and the price range of fights coming into and out of the airport.
“In light of the increase in passenger traffic this summer, the Israel Airports Authority requests that members of the public arrive early to the airport, at least three hours before flights, and print boarding passes at home,” a statement from the IAA said. “We have deployed reinforcements in order to absorb the masses of summer vacationers at Ben-Gurion Airport, and worker deployments will continue until after the High Holy Days, with the mass exodus of vacationers abroad during the holidays.”