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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Flights to and from Israel face delays as storm nears

Flights to and from Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport are expected to be delayed starting on Tuesday evening due to stormy weather.

Israeli Airport Authority officials convened Tuesday to discuss the strong winds and rain heading toward the country, and decided to space out departures and arrivals, a measure that stands to slow down plane traffic.

"Airlines have received air traffic instructions, which have been coordinated with Eurocontrol in order to create flexibility in flights leaving from Europe," the Airport Authority said, referring to the regional organization for the safety of air navigation.

Unusual amounts of rain are expected to fall early on Wednesday, with a chance of flooding both in the Negev wadis and in urban areas. Snowfall is expected to extend beyond Mount Hermon to the Golan and the Galilee. 

In Israel's north, the snowy forecast has driven up demand for hotel rooms and other accomodations as travelers prepared to bust out their skis, according to industry officials.

“There are storm chasers who come for vacation here when the weather is blustery, to feel the power of nature,” said Meir Levi, chairman of the rural tourism forum of the Upper Galilee.

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