Since the opening of Ben Gurion Airport: high demand for airline...

Overseas flight booking sites and news agencies report very unusually high demand for ticket purchases, after Ben Gurion Airport opened tonight (Thursday) following a decision by the Corona Cabinet yesterday.

Reporter: Shimon Yaish // Photo: Gil Kramer

“Since the decision was made, we are seeing a jump in the number of orders from Israelis abroad. Most of the invitations are to the ‘green’ destinations, and especially to Greece. In addition, it can be seen that most bookings are for the next two weeks. “Israelis are afraid of uncertainty and prefer to book a vacation for the near future for fear of changes in guidelines,” said Oz Gur, CEO of SmartAir.

On the “Smartair” website It has been reported that since the announcement of the cabinet decision, the leading destination for booking flights has been to the Greek island of Crete, to which 48% of all bookings have been sold.

The leading destination for booking flights since yesterday is Athens with 48% of total bookers. Thessaloniki and Crete are in second place with about 7% of total bookings each, and Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, which was in second place until this morning, will be removed from the list following the transformation of Bulgaria into a “red” country.

Israir, the most active airline during the Corona period, reports a hundred percent increase in demand for airline tickets. According to Gil Stav, the company’s VP of marketing and sales, since the decision became known, “there has been a jump of hundreds of percent in the number of orders on the site to ‘green’ countries from which there is no obligation to isolate back. Serbia, too, which does not require a corona test at its entrance, has also become a prominent destination. We expect thousands to book airline tickets. The decision to remove the restriction indicates that the health system also believes that the risk of infection on the flight is low. This trend reflects the strong need of Israelis to go abroad and “ventilate from quarantine.”

According to the Gulliver website, there has been a dramatic increase of up to hundreds of percent in flight ticket reservations in the last day compared to the last weeks of the closure: Crete – 257%, Athens – 265%, Varna – 190%, Kiev – 142% and Antalya – 130%.

Shirley Cohen-Urakbi, VP of Marketing and Sales at Eshet Tours, emphasized the encouraging trend in the outbound tourism industry: “Similar to the end of the first closure, with the removal of the restrictions we are experiencing a significant increase in searches and bookings. The period between the end of the holidays and the new civil year is considered a downturn in tourism, but the end of the closure, the postponement of the holiday and the inability to vacation in Israel, are expected to cause high demand. “Cohen-Urakbi wanted to note that despite the situation, prices This is due to the large supply that exists.

According to her, the company is also preparing for the start of commercial flights to the UAE, which may start as early as the end of this year or the beginning of next year.

Ilan Shalev, VP of Marketing at “Vacation Lines”: “From the moment of the announcement of the opening of Ben Gurion Airport, the number of bookings on the sites increased by 25% from a normal day during the closure period. 95% of the bookings were to Crete and Athens. “.

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