Ben Gurion Airport’s Terminal 1 shut down

The move is seen to be a cost-cutting measure as airline revenues continue to plummet due to the coronavirus outbreak.

By World Israel News Staff

As of Wednesday, Terminal 1 at Ben-Gurion Airport will be closed down and flights diverted to Terminal 3 until further notice, announced the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) on Tuesday.

The closure of Terminal 1, which serves charter and domestic flights, is seen as a cost-cutting measure, as airline revenues continue to plummet due to the coronavirus restrictions placed on the airline industry.

The IAA reports having lost over NIS 1.2 billion to date in revenues and has announced its intention to place an additional 2,000 employees on unpaid leave and to stop paying overtime for those currently employed.

Terminal 3, the main international terminal at Ben Gurion Airport, isn’t faring much better either.

Last week, the IAA shut down parts of Terminal 3 and reduced manpower significantly following the steady flow of canceled flights.

Currently, only two out of five check-in areas in the terminal are open and just 30 percent of airport employees are working.

The Jerusalem Post reports 6,400 flights to and from Israel have already been canceled since January, and that number is expected to rise as many of the 2,065 flights scheduled to fly before the end of the month are expected to be canceled.

The largest amount of cancellations came after Netanyahu announced on March 10 a mandatory two-week quarantine for everybody entering the country, including all foreigners, in an effort to curb the coronavirus threat.

Last week, Israel’s El Al national airline took drastic action by announcing it is placing 80 percent of its 6,300 employees on indefinite unpaid leave. Hundreds of El Al employees are among the tens of thousands of Israelis who are in mandatory two-week home quarantine after being in proximity to somebody infected.