Russian Drill Could Cause Erev Chag Flight Delays

Ben Gurion, Terminal 1
A departure screen at Ben Gurion International Airport. (Flash90)

The Airports Authority said Tuesday that travelers should expect some delays in flights to and from Israel. The reason for the delay is due to a Russian military exercise taking place in the eastern Mediterranean. The exercise is likely to bring Russian planes into air routes used by Israeli planes destined for Europe. It is expected to last until the weekend.

The delays could put a dent in the travel plans of tens of thousands of Israelis who are set to leave in advance of Rosh Hashana – among them some 30,000 destined for Uman, as well as for returning Israelis and visitors arriving for the holiday. According to the Authority, some 588 departures and arrivals, ferrying over 90,000 passengers, are scheduled for Wednesday. On Thursday, there are supposed to be 650 flights coming and going, carrying 107,000 travelers. 140 of the flights between Tuesday and Friday will be going to Uman.

Israeli officials said that no danger or security issues were anticipated, and that they were coordinating flights with Russian officials. The Airport Authority urged passengers to keep an eye on flight schedules and be in touch with airlines regarding delays and cancellations.