Israel extended the temporary closure of Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International (TLV) to at least Feb. 20, citing new variants of COVID-19.
“The airport will be closed until Feb. 20. But who knows. It looks like it will be extended" even longer, El Al chief commercial officer Michael Strassburger told Aviation Week Network.
TLV has been closed since Jan. 25. The closure has been extended twice.
When the airport does reopen, arriving passengers will have to be vaccinated and will be required to test negative for COVID-19 twice—at both the departing airport and upon arrival in Israel—to avoid a mandated quarantine.
Air Traffic to and from Israel has nearly stopped. “We are [only] operating reparation flights for citizens who received approval to enter or exit the country," Strassburger said. El Al passengers are being repatriated from New York City and Dubai, among other locations.
Israel and Greece have announced an agreement to mutually recognize each other's “green passports,” which would enable vaccinated passengers to travel freely between the two countries once TLV reopens.
Photo credit: Joe Pries