Modern day exodus? Israelis flock to Turkey for Passover
Ben Gurion Airport expects 1.2 million passengers over the holiday, up 25% from 2013.
On the eve of Passover, Israelis are thronging the departure gates at Ben Gurion Airport in a modern-day version of Exodus. More than 63,000 passengers will depart today, possibly setting an all-time high for the holiday. The airport expects more than 1.2 million passengers during the week-long holiday, 25% more than last Passover, which the Airports Authority attributes to the Open Skies agreement with the EU, which lowered fares.
Ben Gurion Airport will handle 400 incoming and outgoing flights today. Despite tense relations, Turkey is the top destination for Israelis this Passover, with 6,300 people planning to spend the holiday there. Other destinations include Crete, Rome, and Burgos in Bulgaria.
Not everyone is leaving the country for Passover, and Israel is also hosting large numbers of foreign visitors for the holiday.
Despite the congestion, lines at Ben Gurion Airport are under control and moving quickly. The Airports Authority had expected the departing masses and prepared extra terminals and self-service terminals to shorten lines.