Good For Business, Bad For Coach: All 4 Of United’s Tel Aviv Frequencies Will Be Operated By 777s This Winter; Record High Newark-Tel Aviv Capacity

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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?

HT: yelped, via DDF

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21 Comments On "Good For Business, Bad For Coach: All 4 Of United’s Tel Aviv Frequencies Will Be Operated By 777s This Winter; Record High Newark-Tel Aviv Capacity"

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Hoping for Houston. Great to capture Westers USA and South/Latin America


Due to HKG downgrades ?


Would this mean a flash sale coming with a release of business seats for saver awards, like Delta did for their coach seats when they started a 2nd fight?

Dan Bee

IAD flight is more full lately than EWR, so the next move will likely be daily service from IAD.


It’s for sure HKG. Did you see my post this afternoon?


With 2-4-2, no one has to climb over more than one person. With 3-3-3, 44% of the passengers have to climb over two people. With 2-4-2, a family of four can have an entire middle section to itself. The only advantage I see, to 3-3-3, is for a group of three.


Hi Dan
Really appreciate all the info you provide.
Will the TLV-SFO have the “new” Polaris with direct aisle access?


Lol. Perfect for me. Traveling with two kids and was looking for 4 across.
Thanks, now I know which flight to book!


wow. flying tlv to sfo on oct 24th economy. getting in right before the switch

Michael L

A bit off topic, anyone know which plane is used for Toronto-tlv on elal? Do they have monitors? Someone told me they use very old planes

Musa Abu Marzuk

They used the 767 in the past. But AFAIK all flights are on 787 now.


Would this in theory mean slightly better availability for mileage redepmtions in J given the increased capacity or no such luck ;-)?


now that elal is strating to fly to ORD , it should be a perfect time for UA to under cut them just like they did at SFO

Jay Weiss

Great–so the 65 people in premium (bus. or prem. econ.) seats get better seats. And the 253 people in the reg. econ seats (econ+ or econ) get shafted with horrible seats. Four times as many flyers get horrible seats that have been squeezed down by an inch per seat, and 4 inches less per aisle. What a rip-off for 80% of their customers. It’s time for another airline to step in and not make economy seating such a horrible experience. The station people in Tel Aviv have told me on a few occasions that the passengers don’t like the “new” planes (77W) at all, and complaind that they find them terribly uncomfortable. I know United doesn’t really care, because they have a strong hold on that business, but if someone else got smart, they could really take away a major share of that traffic. Please G-d, someone will do it.


Delta is still flying. it’s seasonal, starting May 21 2020 again.