Update, 1/27/22: El Al now officially confirms that they will resume Boston-Tel Aviv service on 3/27/22, as was reported here last October. The flights will be operated on a 787-8 Dreamliner, though it has been scaled back from 3 to 2 weekly flights.
El Al’s smaller Dreamliner offers 20 Business class lie flat seats with direct aisle access, 35 Premium Economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration, and 183 Economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.
El Al had also been selling seats nonstop from Chicago to Tel Aviv from late March, but that has been pushed back to at least late October.
Boston to Tel Aviv will operate on Sundays and Thursdays, departing at 8:30pm and arriving at 1:50pm the next day.
Tel Aviv to Boston will also operate on Sundays and Thursdays, departing at 12:50am and arriving at 5:30am the same day.
El Al will codeshare with JetBlue for connections from other cities visa Boston, though codeshare pricing that I checked from cities like Cleveland and Pittsburgh was absurdly expensive. While those flights can be purchased separately, you would have to recheck baggage and you would be on the hook for flight change costs in case of delays or cancellations.
Delta still plans to launch nonstop Boston-Tel Aviv service with 3 weekly A330-900neo flights beginning on 5/26/22.
Do you think that Boston-Tel Aviv will be able to handle 2 carriers or which airline will win this battle?
Update, 10/5/21: El Al will attempt to preempt this Delta flight with 3 weekly flights between Boston and Tel Aviv, now on sale starting 3/27/22!
Boston to Tel Aviv will operate on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, departing at 8:30pm and arriving at 1:50pm the next day.
Tel Aviv to Boston will operate on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, departing at 12:50am and arriving at 5:30am the same day.
Those are the same days of the week as Delta’s flights, but El Al will operate red-eye flights instead of Delta’s daytime flights. We have traveled with our kids to Israel several times, and have found that the red-eye flights are far superior, so I’d say the schedule advantage goes to El Al here.
El Al flew this route before COVID, though it was among their least successful North American routes, which is why it is still on hiatus.
This comes after El Al announcing that they will battle United for the Chicago to Tel Aviv route.
It’s great to see an aggressive El Al responding to continued attacks on their North American market share, but it remains to be seen if they can compete with US carriers superior ability to offer connecting flights and superior loyalty programs.
Either way, it’s good for consumers who will benefit from price wars. The real question is how long can El Al last in a price war versus significantly larger US competitors?
Will you fly Delta or El Al on this route?
Update, 10/3/21: The Delta flights between Boston and Tel Aviv are now bookable!
Round-trip paid flights next summer from Boston to Tel Aviv start at $891 and round-trip paid flights from Tel Aviv to Boston start at $679.
Delta charges 69K miles round-trip in coach:
Virgin Atlantic charges 35K miles each way in coach:
Delta has excellent business class award space for 105K miles each way:
Business class on the A330-900neo has private walled suites:
Originally posted on 10/2/21:
Delta flew from their mega hub in Atlanta to Tel Aviv from 2006-2009 (cue the acronym jokes like Delays Every Leg To Atlanta, Delivers Everyone’s Luggage To Atlanta, Departures for Everywhere Leave Through Atlanta, etc). Back in 2009, we flew from Tel Aviv to Cleveland via Atlanta in business class for a mere 45K Skymiles, though I didn’t particularly care for Delta’s leather business class seats. Delta then dropped Atlanta and relocated the flight to JFK, where they are able to take advantage of the larger demand for nonstop service at a premium cost with a shorter flight.
They have increased from 1 flight a day from JFK to Tel Aviv to as many as 3 per day during peak periods and they have upgraded their aircraft to the A330neo, featuring business class suites.
Tel Aviv has proven to be a lucrative market for US carriers, in no small part due to El Al’s inept frequent flyer program and customer service.
Delta announced today that they will begin flying nonstop from Boston to Tel Aviv starting on 5/26/22 with an A330-900neo featuring business class suites!
Many had hoped that Atlanta-Tel Aviv would return one day, but Delta has been actively building up their presence in Boston in recent years and will also be adding flights from Boston to Athens on 5/27/22.
Delta initially plans to fly from Boston to Tel Aviv on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 4:20pm, arriving at 9:35am the next day. They plan to fly from Tel Aviv to Boston on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 11:50am, arriving at 4:45pm the same day.
That’s an excellent schedule for Sabbath observers!
El Al had flown from Boston to Tel Aviv 3 times weekly before the pandemic, but they dropped the route last March. It was never a very successful route for El Al, but Delta will have better connecting options than El Al did, which could help it succeed.
Now, all we need is for Israel to reopen for tourism…
Do you think that the Boston-Tel Aviv route will be sustainable for Delta? Will you fly on the route? Which North American city will be next to see new service to Tel Aviv?