12 FEBRUARY 2018
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If you were thinking of taking a flight direct to Eilat to coincide with a stay for Easter (or the Jewish Passover), forget it.
The new airport, called Ramon on Highway 90, 15 miles from the centre of Israel’s southern gateway, will not be open in time.
The airport is substantially structurally complete but reports in the Israeli media suggest that the security aspects, always important to Israel, have not been satisfied. Ramon sits actually on the border with Jordan.
Up until the demise of Monarch last year visitors to Eilat could fly to Ovda Airport, a military base with a civil operation, non-stop from Luton. It was hoped that perhaps easyJet or Wizz might come into the new airport. If you are visiting Eilat from Gatwick, Heathrow or Manchester (or Stansted next summer) the only way is via a difficult change at Ben Gurion, and onwards with Arkia or Israir, but without the facility of through luggage in either direction. Ovda is served from Continental Europe by a number of airlines including Finnair and Ryanair. Connections can be made from London.
Israel Airport Authority was unable to indicate a possible date for the airport’s start-up. When that happens the present Eilat operation, in the centre of the city, with only domestic flights, will close.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Michael Banfield, Basingstoke, UK
For pax, very inconvenient from London's airports, but for an aviation buff staying in Eilat nothing beats the sight and sound of a 757 on short finals down the Main Street of Eilat!
Simon Grigor, Harrow
Peculiar to call the new airport 'Ramon' when that is also the name of a nearby Israeli Air Force base. Scope for "wrong runway" landing fun!