Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport has opened a new passenger hall in Terminal One to accommodate an expected increase in international budget airlines flying into Israel following the Open Skies Agreement signed with the European Union earlier this year.
The new passenger hall will allow the number of weekly low-cost flights to increase from 22 to 55 over the winter 2013/2014 season.
easyJet was the first airline to bring passengers through the new hall, and the airline already operates regular flights between London Luton, Manchester and Tel Aviv, as well as other European destinations including Geneva, Basel, Switzerland and Rome with Berlin to be added to the schedule from February 2014.
As well as easyJet, other airlines that currently use the terminal include Jet2, Wizz Air and Norwegian Air.
Israeli Airline, El Al also has plans to operate low-cost routes between Budapest, Berlin and Prague from March 2014.
All flights will be subject to Israel Airline Regulations with cancellation policies and unlike competitors, El Al will sell budget flights through travel agents as well as online.
The Open Skies Agreement will allow more EU flights into Israel and is anticipated to take full effect over the next five years; the agreement will see a rise in visitors from Europe with an estimated increase of 250,000 tourists in its first year of operation.