airport biz 88 224.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Ben-Gurion Airport's former main facility, Terminal 1, came back to life on Tuesday for summer charter and other low-cost flights.
"The opening of Terminal 1 was meant to maximize Israel's aerial traffic capacity," Israeli Airports Authority chairman Ovadia Ali said.
Passengers leaving from Terminal 1 will go through the entire check-in, security check and registration procedure there.
The terminal's renovation included making it accessible for disabled passengers; it has duty free stores, coffee shops, restaurants, ATMs, currency exchange bureaus, waiting halls and free Wi-Fi service. Returning passengers will use the airport's new Terminal 3.
SkyAirlines is the first carrier to use the old terminal, whose reopening was brought forward for Terminal 3's upcoming busy season.
Ali added that Terminal 1 would close by the end of October for further renovation, and would be opened again in the summer of 2009, when it is anticipated to reach its full three-month capacity of 600,000 passengers on international flights.
He said that the airport tax at Terminal 1 would be $10, half that charged passengers departing from Terminal 3.
The Airports Authority reported further it anticipates a growth of 10-12 percent in the number of passengers flying abroad this summer; 2.6 million passengers are expected to go through Ben-Gurion Airport during July and August.
In June, 972,025 passengers went through the airport, up 13.9% from the same month in 2007. In the first six months of 2008, 5,143,678 people landed and took off from Ben-Gurion Airport, an increase of 12.5% over the same period last year.