British Airways, Air Canada to Renew Flights to Israel

A general view shows an area of the departures terminal in Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod, March 8. (Reuters/Rami Amichay)

Both Air Canada and British Airways are renewing their incoming flights to Israel, Globes reported on Monday. Flights from London to Tel Aviv will recommence from next Friday, May 1.

Currently, only Israeli passport holders and permanent residents are allowed into Israel and all passengers returning from abroad will be required to undergo 14 days of self-quarantine.

Air Canada is also set to resume flights from Toronto on June 1 with three weekly flights. Daily flights will begin from June 23. Air Canada is resuming Tel Aviv – Montreal flights from June 24 with two weekly flights, and then will raise it to three weekly flights from July 6.

United Airlines, which has been operating regular flights from New York throughout the coronavirus crisis, is reintroducing two daily flights from May 20 and also resuming Tel Aviv – San Francisco flights from May 20.

Most international carriers ceased flights to and from Israel in March.

Meanwhile, an Israel Airports Authority report released Monday showed that passenger traffic at Ben Gurion Airport was down 72% in March 2020 in comparison with March 2019. The coronavirus crisis cut the number of passengers from 1.7 million to 472,000 in March of this year. In comparison, February’s total was 1.4 million passengers.

The decline will obviously grow steeper for April, with an almost complete halt in air traffic. On April 5, for example, passenger traffic in all of Europe’s airports amounted to just 120,000 passengers, 98% below the number on the same date in 2019.

Around the world, more than 100 airports are shut, many of them serving only as parking lots for thousands of grounded aircraft.

In 2019, passenger traffic at Ben Gurion Airport totaled 24.5 million passengers. For 2020, the number is expected to be around 10 million.

El Al carried some 111,000 passengers in March this year, before halting its passenger flights. This is 74% less than in March 2019.

All airlines experienced a decline in passenger numbers to and from Israel, which led to the cancellation of most flights.

The Airports Authority said that takeoff and landing slots will be kept for the airlines for when they eventually renew their schedules.

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