Itongadol.- Despite the strained relations between Ankara and Jerusalem, 2016 has shown a marked increase in Israelis vacationing in Turkey; all leading international airlines operating in Ben Gurion Airport have experienced an increase in passengers.
While talks about warming relations between Turkey and Israel have not yet reached their conclusion, airports in Istanbul remain the top destinations from Israel, with flights to and from them constituting eight percent of Ben Gurion Airport\’s traffic.
A new report from the Israel Airports Authority shows that, in the first five months of 2016, 483,000 flights have travelled from Ben Gurion to Istanbul, marking a rise of 12.6 percent from 2015. These flights went to the Turkish metropolis\’s Sabiha Gökçen International and Atatürk Airports on Turkish and Pegasus Airlines
Of the different nationalities flying to Istanbul, it is predominantly the Israelis who remain for vacations in Turkey. Most of the other passengers to these airports are on layovers and continue on to destinations in Europe, the Far East and North America.
The second most popular destination from Ben Gurion airport is New York (both JFK and Newark), with 477,000 travelers flying there over the five-month period of 2016. The figures represent a 5.5 percent increase from last year. London\’s myriad of airports traled in third place with some 378,000 travelers fying from Ben Gurion Airport (an increase of 5 percent). The top five are completed with Moscow (334,000 travelers, a rise of 21 percent) and Rome (263,000 travelers, a rise of 16 percent).
The leading ten airlines in international flights from Ben Gurion Airport all experienced an increase in the number of passengers in the first five months of 2016. The most active airline was El Al, which flew more than two million passengers. The Israeli airline\’s market share in Ben Gurion was close to 35 percent.
In total, 5.8 million passengers travelled through Ben Gurion Airport from January to May 2016 on international flights.