Passenger traffic at Ben-Gurion International Airport increased by 2.4% in February 2015 compared to the corresponding period last year.
Data released by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) noted that a total of 820,848 arriving and departing passengers passed through the airport on international flights last month. The CAA noted that the most significant figure is the increase in passengers from Russia.
Despite the economic crisis in the country, Russian airlines "Aeroflot" and "Rossiya Airlines" recorded a significant growth (56% and 38%, respectively) in the number of passengers they carried from Israel to different destinations in Russia. El Al Israel Airlines recorded the highest number of passengers in February – nearly 290,000 – a 10% increase.
About 35% of the passengers who passed through Ben-Gurion Airport on international flights in February were El Al passengers. easyJet, which is the second most active foreign airline in Israel after Turkish Airlines, recorded a 24% growth in its number of passengers last month, mainly due to the addition of new destinations.
Other airlines with positive figures included Germanwings (an 85% increase), Norwegian (77%), Air Canada (44%), Brussels Airlines (43%), Ethiopian (35%), Air Berlin (16%), Iberia (16%) and Lufthansa (14%). Niki, a subsidiary of Air Berlin, recorded a 66% drop in its number of passengers to and from Israel. Other airlines with negative figures include Turkish Airlines (a 16% drop), Delta Air Lines (21%), Austrian (23%) and Royal Jordanian (37%).
Arkia recorded a 24% drop on its international routes. The most popular destination for direct flights from and to Israel was the United States with 11.7% of all passengers who passed through Ben-Gurion Airport last month, followed by Germany with 9% of all passengers, Turkey (8%), Russia (7.5%) and England (7.5%).