Terminal One to Make ‘Comeback’ as Low-Cost Carriers Flock to Israel

Duty Free shop at Ben Gurion International Airport. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Ben Gurion airport’s Terminal One will be taking on new life, beginning in mid-May. The terminal is being repurposed to handle the increasing volume of low-cost carriers that have entered Israel in recent months, and are due to begin flying here in the summer.

Terminal One was once the only entry and exit point for air travelers to and from Israel, but was superceded by the new Terminal Three in 2004. Since that time, most of Terminal One was closed off, with a small portion of it used to board passengers headed for Eilat. But the increasing number of carriers flying to and from Israel has placed a great deal of pressure on Terminal Three, and hence the decision to refurbish, update, and place into use Terminal One.

The newly-revived terminal will offer all services provided to passengers at its “big brother” terminal, including dining and shopping options. The synagogue at the terminal, located on the second floor, will begin operating again as well. The terminal is expected to serve passengers flying to and from Europe on the low-cost carriers that currently or soon will serve Israel, including Wizz Air, Easyjet, Air Berlin, and many others. The terminal will continue to operate as a domestic transfer point for flights to and from Eilat.

“The increased competition among airlines for routes to Israel has increased the number of passengers and flights to and from Ben Gurion airport, and the lower prices for travel have increased options for passengers,” said Israel Transport Minister Yisrael Katz. “Thus expanding services at Ben Gurion airport is a necessity.”