How long will the congestion at Ben Gurion Airport continue? Airport CEO estimates | Listen

“It’s dramatic”: Extremely heavy traffic loads have been felt in recent days at the airport in Lod, and after the holiday, Israelis are expected to continue to leave the country. Today (Thursday) the passenger numbers reached a certain peak, but not yet official. Ben-Gurion Airport CEO Shmuel Zakai spoke with Gideon Oko in his program on 103fm About the subject.

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“It’s just like the summer of 2019,” he said of the busy day at Ben Gurion Airport. “Over 640 aircraft movements, takeoffs and landings. 75,000 passengers in the last day, ahead of the holiday, 120,000 passengers who left and entered Ben Gurion Airport, and mostly left. ”

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“Now I’m in Terminal 1 and it’s busy,” he continued. “Passengers are waiting in queues. When it comes to security, queues are relatively fast, most of the congestion is at the check-in counters. There are delays in unloading the planes because the flight schedule went wrong due to air control problems. Some passengers wait about 40 minutes for luggage.”

Loads at Ben Gurion Airport (Photo: Avshalom Shashoni, Flash 90)

On the delays felt on almost every flight he said: “It’s dramatic, and it’s in line with world data. The airport is rebuilding itself, and it’s going to take a good few months until it’s back on track.” He added: “I believe that more and more countries will remove all corona restrictions, i.e. tests and the like.”

On the Israelis who travel, he shared: “The passengers are showing maturity and understanding, we have prepared them for this situation. I have been talking to passengers in recent days. I promise you that we are making one hundred percent effort.”

However, not everything is rosy, and incidents of violence continue to occur amid the terrible pressures in the field. He is entitled to repeat: “This morning a passenger on a flight to Eilat cursed in very blatant language, and we will not be indifferent to it. I immediately gave an order not to put him on the flight. We will not do that and we will not put him on the flight. “Respect for honor. We do it to keep passengers safe. Standing in line should not justify such blatant remarks and curses against employees.”

Loads at Ben Gurion Airport (Photo: Avshalom Shashoni)Loads at Ben Gurion Airport (Photo: Avshalom Shashoni)

Will the situation change in the summer? Zakai estimated: “There is always time for adjustment between seasons. We go from 0 to 100 here. I think that at the end of the flight it is human beings. I see the children with their parents get excited, and at the end everyone gets on the plane and reaches their vacation destinations.”

Assisted in the preparation of the article: Eden Ben Ari, 103fm

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