Despite high costs, Israelis are traveling

Michael Assous

4 min read
Travelers in line for check-in at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel, on July 7, 2022.
Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90Travelers in line for check-in at the Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel, on July 7, 2022.

No less than 1,200,000 people passed through Israel's Ben Gurion Airport in the month of June

The prices of flight tickets exploded this summer around the world, particularly in Israel, with its international airport full of people after two years marked by Covid.

Israelis are seeking, at all costs, the "trick" to benefit from reduced prices to travel to European or more distant destinations, even if it means transiting through countries such as Egypt or Jordan. 

Today, a flight from Tel Aviv to London costs just under $1,500, while the same flight with the same airline from Jordan costs about half that. The difference is also displayed for flights to Rome: from Tel Aviv, the price is around $355, while from Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, passengers only pay $190. 

A notable difference that appeals to intrepid Israelis, who are ready to do anything, including traveling to countries they usually avoid, to reduce their expenses as the Jewish state’s cost of living continues to climb. 

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According to Dr. Daniel Guggenheim, an expert in economics, these exorbitant prices for plane tickets are the result of an "intentional and deliberate policy" of the airport authorities who did not do what was necessary to manage post-Covid departures.

"When demand exceeds supply, prices go up," he said, pointing out that Israel did not make efforts to offer an adequate and sufficient number of flights. 

"At other airports, the policy is contrary to that of Israel and has allowed as many offers as requests," he added.

Guggenheim pointed out that the explanations put forward by the government to justify ticket prices – cost increases in fuel, impacts of Covid – do nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of passengers, ready to pay any price to afford a vacation. 

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Joseph, a travel agent in the Israeli coastal city of Bat-Yam, confirmed that prices jumped dramatically, particularly this summer.

"Everything is expensive from Tel Aviv. I've never seen it. Even low-cost airlines are expensive," he lamented. 

“Before, for Paris to Tel Aviv, we paid ($560 to $615) with a suitcase in economy class, with the El Al airline. Now, we sell tickets at $1000 for an economy seat and $3000 for a business seat.”

But for him, Israelis' plan B is not through Egypt or Jordan. 

"I don't believe it. Israelis mainly go through Dubai to pay less when they want to go to Asia. There are not many flights,” Joseph said.

“There is the Royal Jordanian company to go to New York or Chicago. An Egyptian company will carry out some European connections, but in general, Israelis are afraid to use these companies. I do not believe that the passage by Jordan or Egypt is a strong tendency.”

No less than 1,200,000 people passed through Israel's Ben Gurion Airport in the month of June. 

Despite soaring prices, airlines are always ready to offer every possible and unimaginable option to reap maximum profits. 

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