12,160,001 passengers passed through on 95,170 int’l, domestic flights; Israeli airlines carried 43% of passengers, with El-Al in the lead.
The year 2010 broke all the country’s aviation activity records, according to data released Sunday by the Civil Aviation Authority, with a total of 12,160,001 passengers passing through Ben-Gurion Airport on 95,170 international and domestic flights.
This represents an increase of 9.37 percent and 5.54% respectively, over 2009 figures.
Israeli airlines carried more than five million passengers, 43% of all passengers passing through Ben-Gurion Airport, an increase of 10% over 2009.
El Al carried the most passengers of all airlines, flying 3.8 million passengers, nearly a third of all passengers who flew into and out of Israel. The foreign airline that carried the most passengers was Lufthansa, with 450,000, followed by Continental Airlines with 366,000 and Delta with 337,000.
Easy Jet, US Airways and Aegean registered the highest growth among international airlines.
The main destination for takeoffs and landings was Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, with 721,000 passengers, followed by JFK in New York, with 626,000 and Newark in New Jersey with 536,000.
The United States was the country that provided the most traffic into and out of Israel with a total of 1,554,000 passengers (10.6% more than in 2009), followed by Germany, Italy, France, the United Kingdom and Russia.
The countries that featured the highest growth in aviation activity with Israel were Malta, Greece, Russia and Ukraine. Turkey, Serbia and Montenegro and Nigeria all experienced double- digit drops in the percentage of travel between the countries.
August was the busiest month at Ben-Gurion, with 1.5 million international passengers passing through on 9,677 flights. February was the weakest month for aviation activity, with 625,000 passengers on 5,300 flights.
October was the busiest month for domestic travel, with 71,766 passengers, and February was the weakest with only 30,809.
Eilat was by far the most popular destination for domestic flights, with 650,881 passengers, making up 96.5% of all domestic travel. The year saw a 52% increase in passengers flying to Eilat over 2009.
The year also saw a boost in cargo transport through Ben-Gurion with a total of 302,903 tons, up 10.4% over 2009.
Source: The Jerusalem Post (http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=204938)
The Eilat Port Company Ltd reports an unprecedented wave of cruise ships docking at Eilat Port, each one of which carries thousands of tourists who stop off at Eilat and spend a day touring the city, the Hebrew-language business website talniri.co.il reports.
The cruise companies initially announced that the line bringing tourists to Eilat would operate until the end of 2011, but in light of the success of the visits in November 2010, it has been decided to continue running the regular cruise line until 2013. This means that tens of thousands of tourists will visit Eilat over the next three years, each of whom spends an estimated $200 while in the city.
Eilat Port Company CEO Yair Hazan said that “The quality of service [the Eilat Port] gives is expressed in the cruise lines’ decision to continue docking at Eilat. We are talking about an unprecedented wave of visits that will be a great boon for tourism in Israel in general and in the Eilat area in particular.”
According to current projections, by the end of 2013 more than 200 cruise ships are scheduled to dock at Eilat – more than two a week for three years – and each ship carries over 1,000 tourists.
“Since these are vacationers who come to have a good time and not pilgrims, every tourist spends about $200 while in Israel and in Eilat. That is a potential $150-200 million, definitely not insignificant revenue for the businesses and tourist attractions in and around Eilat,” Hazan noted.
“The Eilat Port Company has invested a great deal to ensure that the port can provide the best conditions for tourists and tourist agents. I call on Eilat residents and all the relevant bodies to welcome the tourists and give their stay in Israel a good feeling. It’s important to us, it’s important for Eilat and it’s important for the state of Israel.”
Source: Israeli Diamond (http://www.israelidiamond.co.il/english/News.aspx?boneId=918&objid=8483)
At the most southern point of Israel lies the coastal location of Eilat. This little section of the Israel coast is sandwiched between Taba in The Red Sea to the west and Aqaba in Jordan to the east. In its early days, Eilat was officially recognized as a town in 1959 with a population of 6,000. 50 years on, the population had increased to 55,000 and it was firmly established on the tourist scene.
Now, holidaymakers and visitors from Israel and abroad go to Eilat which has loads to offer you with all sorts of hotels, shopping outlets not to mention night clubs, cafes and places to eat. Unsurprisingly, there are a sizeable number of fish restaurants together with others offering Italian, American, Brazilian, Japanese, Israeli, Mexican, French, Chinese, Thai, Korean and Lebanese cuisine.
Eilat also has a tax-free status therefore for Israelis; it is a shopping haven as they will not have to pay VAT at present at 17%. The main shopping mall in Eilat is the Mall Hayam not far from the beach front and has a extensive range of shops.
At nighttime, Eilat comes to life and the Isrotel Wow Latino show is a Latin extravaganza. Wild music, dancers and virtuosos produce an impressive atmosphere with artists engaging in amazing routines. The show is suitable for the whole family and lower rates are offered to Isrotel Hotels’ guests.
Eilat is also on a migration route for large numbers of birds consequently it’s also a terrific place for bird-watchers. The scenery nearly Eilat is dazzling with desert mountains soaring on both sides of the Syrian African Rift Valley.
In the Gulf of Aqaba, the marine life in Eilat is nothing short of remarkable. There is an abundant variety of coral, fish and more, Scuba diving is well-liked with travellers and tourists and for those who are not qualified divers, snorkelling and glass bottomed boat excursions are generally other very good choices for observing the marine world. The Underwater Observatory can take you 6 metres under the sea, making it possible for you to look at the marine life as if you were in the water.
The Dolphin Reef is home to a group of Bottlenose dolphins and travellers can witness these fantastic creatures in their natural surroundings. The dolphins are free to come and interact with divers and snorkellers who arrive at Dolphin Reef to see them. For those who do not want to get into the water, floating piers and vantage points are offered.
Thus with all this and more to give, it is not difficult to witness why Eilat holidays are becoming an increasing number of favourite. With hotels to suit all budgets, your Eilat holiday promises you a true “get away from it all” for the entire family.
An ancient Jerusalem thoroughfare walked by Christian pilgrims 1,500 years ago was uncovered in the Old City, confirming the authenticity of a mosaic map in a church in Jordan, Israel Antiquities Authority said today.
The remains of what was once one of the city’s large bustling streets went undiscovered, said archaeologists. Other important buildings on the map have been found over the years, or survived to this day, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where tradition holds that Jesus was crucified.
“At a depth of 4.5 meters below today’s street level, much to our excitement we discovered the large flagstones that paved the street,” Ofer Sion, excavation director for the authority, said in an e-mailed statement.
The excavation, part of a renovation of the area, started three weeks ago and the street was discovered earlier this week, said Authority spokeswoman Yoli Shwartz.
The find will be covered up again once the work is finished, she said in a telephone interview. Also discovered in the excavation were pottery vessels, coins and five small square bronze weights that shopkeepers used for weighing precious metals.
The Madaba Map is a mosaic in a church in Madaba, Jordan that depicted Christian sites in the land of Israel.
El Al’s booth at the International Mediterranean Tourism Market fair , which started yesterday will be dedicated to its new route to Eilat.
An El Al source says that like every year, the company will focus its efforts on promoting its newest destination. This year its marketing efforts will be directed toward new domestic flights.
Last week Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz gave El Al the go-ahead to run three flights a week between Ben-Gurion International Airport and Eilat airport.
Participants from 35 countries are exhibiting at the IMTM fair yesterday and today, including Japan, Portugal, Russia, Armenia and Estonia, which is participating in the fair for the first time. The exhibition will be open to the public at no charge from 3:00 P.M.
Danny Zimet, vice chairman of the Israel-Turkey Business Council, confirmed that Turkey will also have a booth, which will be dedicated to Istanbul.
“We feel that Istanbul should be a travel destination for Israelis this year, both as a unique city as well as by virtue of the hundreds of cultural and entertainment events to be offered,” Zimet said.
Also operating booths at the fair will be a number of Anatolian clubs which have long attracted Israelis. Tourism from Israel to Turkey plummeted 44% in 2009 due to political spats.
Turkey saw a total of 27 million visitors in 2009, including about a million Iranians. Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay is currently visiting Iran with the aim of strengthening its ties with the country in various areas, including tourism, according to press reports.
Iran and Turkey signed a tourism agreement in 2008, and a number of initiatives aimed at strengthening the agreement will be examined during his visit. Iran and Turkey, Gunay says, share a religion and a cultural heritage, which pose a potential for strengthening their ties, including tourism.
Source: Haaretz.com (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1148796.html)