(Max Schindler/Jpost) The inaugural flight to Eilat’s yet-to-be opened Ilan and Assaf Ramon International Airport landed on Monday, July 16, marking a new chapter in the Red Sea resort city’s plans to attract snowbirds to enjoy its 360 annual days of sunshine.
Low-cost domestic carrier Arkia made the first scheduled landing, with Flight 883 touching down on the airport’s 3,600-meter-long runway. The first test flight landed back on September 5, 2017. Two years delayed, the facility is now slated to open in March 2019.
Ramon Airport, located 18 km. north of Eilat in the Timna Valley, will replace two regional airports. The airport is named in memory of Israel’s first astronaut Ilan Ramon, who perished in the 2003 Columbia Space Shuttle disaster, and his son Assaf Ramon who died six years later when his F-16 fighter jet crashed.