Airport passenger footfall plunges amid coronavirus outbreak

As of last week, a total of 1662 flights to and from Israel had been cancelled.

Empty El Al Israel Airlines check-in counters are seen at Ben Gurion International airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel February 27, 2020. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
Empty El Al Israel Airlines check-in counters are seen at Ben Gurion International airport in Lod, near Tel Aviv, Israel February 27, 2020.
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
Amid reluctance to travel and Health Ministry restrictions due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the number of travelers passing through Israel's Ben-Gurion and Ramon international airports has dropped significantly since the start of March.
According to figures published on Tuesday by the Israel Airports Authority (IAA), daily inbound and outbound footfall has decreased by half on certain days of the week. The next few days do not show any improvement, likely due to new measures announced by the government on Monday, requiring 14 days in isolation for all individuals entering Israel from abroad.
In green is number of passengers in recent days and blue is the forecast (Credit - Israel Airports Authority)In green is number of passengers in recent days and blue is the forecast (Credit - Israel Airports Authority)
Approximately 141,000 passengers are expected to pass through the airports by the end of the week, with about half entering and half leaving the country. Accordingly, some 70,000 additional individuals will be required to enter isolation upon their arrival in Israel.
Data published last week by the IIA showed a sharp increase in cancelled flights since the beginning of March. As of Thursday, a total of 1662 flights to and from Israel had been cancelled. During January and February, a combined total of 530 flights were cancelled. The data also showed a decrease in passengers arriving on each plane, falling from an average of 150 per flight in January and February to 131 in March.
In March 2019, more than 426,000 tourists entered Israel, bringing in approximately NIS 2.2 billion ($620m.). That figure is likely to drop dramatically this month, as Israel's open skies are closed shut to most would-be visitors.