Ryanair suspends Tel Aviv flights in row over airport costs

Ryanair has suspended flights to Israel less than a month after they resumed  due to a dispute over costs with the airport in Tel Aviv.

The budget carrier restarted flights to Ben Gurion International airport from parts of Europe on February 1 after a lengthy suspension due to the conflict in Gaza.

But Ryanair halted flights again on Tuesday and said they would remain suspended until the airport reopens a dedicated terminal for low cost flights.

The airline said it had written to the airport calling on it to confirm when Terminal 1 will reopen, “which will allow Ryanair to resume selling low fare flights to and from Tel Aviv”.

Chief executive Eddie Wilson said: “We worked hard with the Israeli government and Ben Gurion International airport to re-establish Ryanair’s low fare flights to/from Tel Aviv on 1 February. 

“We were deeply disappointed by Ben Gurion International airport’s refusal to reopen the low-cost Terminal 1 where Ryanair normally operates. 

“We don’t mind if the airport forces us to put Ryanair flights through Terminal 3 on an interim basis because of the large decline in traffic to/from Tel Aviv, but this should be done on the agreed Terminal 1 prices, not Terminal 3 prices.”

He added: “Ryanair wishes to support Ben Gurion International airport and the recovery of air travel to/from Israel, but we cannot do so, or ask our passengers to pay higher air fares while Ben Gurion International airport keep[s] the low-cost Terminal 1 closed and force[s] our flights into the high-cost Terminal 3, charging fees which were never agreed by Ryanair.

“We call again on Ben Gurion International airport to confirm a date when the lower cost Terminal 1 facility will be reopened, which will allow Ryanair to resume selling low fare flights to/from Tel Aviv which have done so much to grow air travel and tourism for Israel.”

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