TEL AVIV (Sep. 27)
A crush of Rosh Hashanah holiday traffic has broken flight records at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport.
According to the Airport Authority, a record 156 flights – 79 arrivals and 77 departures – were registered last Thursday, as visitors arrived to spend the festival here with friends and family, and Israelis left for vacations abroad.
There were over 90 flights last Friday, 30 percent more than on an average Friday for the season. Fifty-five flights by foreign carriers took place on Saturday, when Israel’s El Al Airlines is grounded, and another 100 flights were expected Sunday, on the eve of the new Jewish year.
The most popular destination for Israelis spending the holiday season abroad was nearby Turkey, followed by the Greek islands and Cyprus.
Some 70,000 travelers are expected to cross the border into Sinai during the holidays, not including guests at the Taba Hilton just across the Sinai border from Eilat.
Some 250,000 visitors have crossed from Israel into Sinai so far this year, with the 1992 total expected to reach 400,000.
Inside Israel, the bus cooperatives have pressed into service every working vehicle, in order to cope with the vast numbers of residents who will be moving about the country, either on vacations or to visit and spend time with family and friends during the New Year’s break.
The police have, as usual, canceled all leaves to beef up security at a time when larger-than-usual crowds can be expected at places of worship as well as at vacation spots.