United currently flies between Newark and Tel Aviv in the afternoon on a 787-10 (78J), between Newark and Tel Aviv in the evening on a 777-300ER (77W), between San Francisco and Tel Aviv daily on a 777-300ER (77W), and between Washington DC and Tel Aviv 3 times a week on a 777-200 (772).
United considers all of their Tel Aviv routes high-priority as they have long been said to be among the most profitable in their network, so they have Polaris business class seating and a Premium Plus cabin. They even have PJs in Polaris business class, despite being shorter than the normal required flight time for that amenity.
United’s Newark-Tel Aviv flight will upgauge this winter from a 78J (318 seats consisting of 44 Polaris seats, 21 Premium Plus seats, 54 Economy Plus seats, and 199 Economy seats) to another 77W (350 seats consisting of 60 Polaris seats, 24 Premium Plus seats, 62 Economy Plus seats, and 204 Economy seats). This will remain in effect from December 3-March 28 when it revert to the 78J
It comes on the heels of Delta cancelling their 2nd daily flight between JFK-Tel Aviv. Clearly something is working for United that isn’t for Delta.
With 700 daily seats, it’s the most capacity that United has ever offered between Newark-Tel Aviv. In general, that should be good news for everyone, as extra capacity should mean lower fares.
It’s also good news for Polaris business class passengers, which has a wider and more comfortable seat on the 77W/772 than the narrower and more cramped Polaris business class seat on the 78J.
However the news isn’t as good for other passengers. The 77W and 772 has a 2-4-2 configuration in Premium Plus and a 3-4-3 configuration in Economy/Economy Plus. The 78J and has a more comfortable 2-3-2 configuration in Premium Plus and a 3-3-3 configuration in Economy/Economy Plus. The 777 is a wider plane than the 787, but the 777 seats will still be narrower than in the 787 in that configuration and 4 seats in the center is never fun unless you have the row to yourself.
Meanwhile, United will downgauge San Francisco-Tel Aviv from the 77W to the 772 (276 seats consisting of 50 Polaris seats, 24 Premium Plus seats, 46 Economy Plus seats, and 156 Economy seats) between October 26-March 28, when it will revert back to the 77W that is freed up from the Newark-Tel Aviv route.
I guess the only question is what will be United’s next Tel Aviv expansion? Will they wind up keeping on the 77W on the afternoon Newark-Tel Aviv flight? Will they add a 3rd daily flight from Newark? Or will they add a flight from Chicago or Houston to Tel Aviv?