Katz hails Open Skies success as Ben Gurion opens upgraded T1

21 June 2017
Security checkpoint at the newly reopened Terminal 1 in Ben Gurion International Airport. Source: Joe Charlaff

Israeli transport minister Israel Katz officially opened the newly renovated Terminal 1 (T1) at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv on 19 June 2017, in the presence of foreign dignitaries and senior Israel Airports Authority (IAA) officials.
Among those present were representatives of some of the low-cost airlines serving Ben Gurion.
"The Open Skies agreement resulted in low-cost airlines landing in Israel and resulted in the opening of this terminal, which is direct proof of its success," Katz told Jane's . "The consumer revolution that has begun will continue in the future, and will increase the competition between the airlines and result in an increase in flights into Ben Gurion, as well as a reduction in prices to the public".
It is expected that approximately 215 international flights from 24 countries and 45 airports will land weekly at T1. Low-cost carriers to serve T1 include easyJet, Ryanair, Bluebird, and Pegasus.
In remarks at a reception after the opening ceremony, Katz claimed "I don't think that any other country has succeeded in reform to this extent. We expect the number of passengers to reach 20 million in 2018, which far exceeds our forecasts".
He confirmed plans to open another international airport in the north of Israel, on a site adjacent to Ramat David Israeli Air Force base. This new airport, intended to ease capacity pressure on T3 at Ben Gurion, would be built and operated by a private-sector developer under concession from the government.
The renovation of T1 included installation of an automatic hold baggage screening (HBS) security system by Beumer Group, at a cost of about USD17 million. Managing director Klaus Schäfer, who was present, commented on the smoothness of the installation.

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