Published On: Thu, Jul 24th, 2014

Hundreds stranded at Negev Airport


Ovda airport cannot cope with the many flights redirected there while the FAA ban lasted.

Ovda_Airport

Following the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announcement lifting the ban on flights to and from Israel, the chaos continues. Today, a number of Italian airline flights continued to land at Ovda Airport in the Negev, which became an alternative airport for international flights while the ban was in force. However, the terminal was too small to handle hundreds of passengers at once, and some were forced to continue to wait on board aircraft in the airport for many hours.

“We left Nahariya at 9.30 pm and arrived at Ben Gurion Airport at around 11.30 pm. We stood in a crazy line for nearly an hour just to sign up. Afterwards, we got on buses to Ovda Airport, and arrived at around 4.30 am, ” said Orit. “Our kids didn’t sleep, we were on top of each other with our suitcases – there was no room to move. Everyone started yelling at the airport manager, and he said: ‘What am I supposed to do, I am not Ben Gurion, I am just a little airport, trying to do a favor.’”

According to Orit, there was a shortage of ground crew to tend to passengers in the airport. “One clerk is taking care of hundreds of people. We are waiting and waiting and no one can tell us when we will fly, and the planes here are waiting – they are not boarding us.”

Meanwhile, with the lifting of the FAA travel ban, passengers who intended to continue to make their way to Israel after having been stranded overseas said that they were forced to turn around again because flights that were rescheduled had again been canceled.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com

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