Update: American confirms the route cut with the following statement provided to DansDeals,
“As part of the continuous evaluation of our network, American Airlines has made the difficult decision to discontinue its Miami (MIA) – Tel Aviv (TLV) service effective March 24, 2023. We will continue to operate daily service to Tel Aviv from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK). We’re proactively reaching out to customers affected by these changes to offer alternate travel arrangements.”
American and their predecessor USAirways flew nonstop from Philadelphia-Tel Aviv from 2009-2016.
Current United CEO Scott Kirby was President at USAirways, which acquired American, and called the Philadelphia-Tel Aviv route among the most lucrative in their system. That was credible as Newark-Tel Aviv was also publicly called the most profitable in Continental’s system.
However after the American-USAirways merger, the airline abruptly dropped all Tel Aviv service without explanation in 2016.
In 2019, American announced that they would return to Israel starting in September 2020 with 3 weekly flights between Dallas and Tel Aviv, helped by an Israeli subsidy.
However after multiple delays due to COVID, the airline never flew that route.
Instead they launched daily service between JFK and Tel Aviv. I asked at the time when Miami-Tel Aviv would start, and sure enough they launched three weekly flights between Miami to Tel Aviv.
That came after El Al launched 3 weekly flights between Miami and Tel Aviv.
The route appeared to be going very well for American and El Al.
El Al increased to 5 weekly flights and after just a year in service American increased to daily flights on route as of 10/29/22.
That’s what makes it so bizarre that the airline will eliminate the Miami-Tel Aviv as of 3/25/23.
That information comes from travel agents in Israel, who sent along this message from Jan Pullmann, American’s country manager for sales in Israel,
“Dear Valued Partner,
I am herewith informing you before the news become official over the weekend:
American Airlines has made the difficult decision to discontinue its Miami – Tel Aviv. The last direct flight will be on 25th of March from Tel Aviv.
We will continue to operate our daily New York flight.
From this weekend we will proactively reach out to customers that are affected by these changes and offer alternative travel arrangements.
For questions – please kindly reach out to me.
Flights will be unloaded over the weekend from the GDS.
Perhaps American felt they needed to operate daily flights in an effort to compete with El Al but they were still unable to operate profitably. But why would they only try it out in the slower winter season and not in the peak summer season?
This will surely ruin many people’s Pesach flight plans.
American will continue to operate the JFK-Tel Aviv route. But I wouldn’t be surprised if that doesn’t last either. After this cancellation they will fly just 7 weekly flights to Israel and it may be hard to maintain profitability at that service level. For comparison, United flies 28 weekly flights from 4 cities, Delta will fly 13 weekly flights from 3 cities, and El Al flies 41 weekly flights from 5 cities between the US and Tel Aviv.
Clearly the airline is struggling to compete with the established players in the market, Delta, United, and El Al. While Delta expands in Atlanta and Boston and United expands in Chicago, American is halving their Tel Aviv flights.
The biggest winner here is El Al of course. I heard from the airline that Miami is doing quite well for them and this will only help their Miami operation. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 6th weekly El Al flight added here in response to American’s pullout.
Delta and United are also winners. The American flight would feed from Latin America, though that’s somewhat hindered by the lack of secure transit available in the US, meaning that transit passengers need a US visa to connect to Israel in the US. Delta will pickup some of that feed with their Atlanta flight. Perhaps United will add Houston-Tel Aviv service to pickup even more Latin America feed to Israel?
I reached out to American and El Al for comment and will update this post when I receive a response.
What do you think of American’s cancellation of their Miami-Tel Aviv route? Do you think they will remain in the Israeli market?
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81 Comments On "[Confirmed] American’s Bizarre White Flag Israeli Strategy Continues With Killing Off Of Miami-Tel Aviv Route"
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Weird miami flight always sold out in business
Given the demographics, I’m not that surprised
About your username
Are you a malach ?!
Lots of $$$ in Miami. Many NYers have run away and you have a lot of wealthy South Americans who ran away and set up shop in Miami
They also changed the equipment to a 787 recently giving you only 20 seats in Business
Oh my, hoping your prediction of United Houston-TLV flights comes true!
I could not agree more!! I was really hoping for the american Dalls- TLV flight.
The perfect storm, how do ensure United steps up to the plate?
If the first leg is flown, and the return is canceled, what refund are you eligible for? Is it automatically half the ticket?
Whatever your receipt shows as the value for the second ticket is what I’m assuming they will credit, given that the second leg is usually priced at not that much, I would not expect the most amount of money without complaining. My guess is they will reroute you through New York for free.
Another American – Israel relationship severed under the Biden Administration.
Cheap shot. Try something that makes more sense next time.
Biden planning to nuke Israel on behalf of Iran isn’t enough evidence for you? Thank God Trump kept the nuclear codes.
Seems like you shashked a bit too much today….
they might change jfk to tlv to 777-300 to add more capicity in ny as they cut mia
Seems pretty unlikely to me at this point.
i think the only way for aa to compete in isarel is that they have to partner with Elal that will crush united and delta and then you can earn and redeem on elal via aa. its also a win for elal as then they are exposed to us credit card earning since if you use aa credit cards you can earn aa points to book elal. win win for both!
Maybe they will restart the PHL-TLV flight instead
That flight was a money loser. Cargo (Mainly Teva Pharmaceuticals) was the only thing that kept that flight alive
Nowadays, I think the growth of Lakewood should give Philly a built in base along with Baltimore. I would happily take a direct from Philly rather than fly a connecting out of Dulles; if the united flight didn’t work for me.
But I guess I am missing something.
I wonder how many lakewooders shlep out to JFK, Philly is certainly closer than that given typical traffic conditions and the cost of tolls. not to mention cheaper airport parking.
Why would anyone from Latin America fly via USA and need a visa? Why not fly AF, TK, LH, BA etc They’re taking a connection anyways. I can’t imagine that the US based carriers are cheaper than the EU based carriers
What if they already have a visa?
What is they are US citizens or citizens from a country that don’t require a visa to visit/transit in the US?
What if they have their own wings and don’t need an airplane?
A large percentage if not a majority of Latin flyers already have US visas
AA still has flights loaded all through the summer
so book it
“Flights will be unloaded over the weekend from the GDS.”
The article States it will be updated this weekend.
Flying jfk tlv via AA next week, anyway to obtain status?
spend the requisite amount on cc and then hope it posts and statement closes before your flight and has enough time to transfer
It’s unfortunate that AA is pulling out of the MIA-TLV run. Besides serving an important need in this region, AA offers a great alternative to ElAl, where service is imagined & good results are miracles.
Given the growing demographics of Israel oriented fliers in S. Fla., & the growing demographics that, given an option would prefer NOT going through MIA with its congestion, discourtesy, & lack of disabled staff & equipment, the use of alternative intern’l air port, ie., Ft. Lauderdale or Palm Beach, could serve those potential flying public better, faster, more economically, & less stressfully, than the current alternatives.
Or Delta should consider flights from FLL or PBI through Atlanta – coordinated of course- to Israel if direct flights from those choices to Israel don’t work.
Certainly the current MIA option is BAD!
I have told El Al the same thing:
Its not a bad option because there are no direct flights from anywhere in Latin America (which is a continent and a half), and MIA is the gateway to Latin America. Flying out of FLL or PBI doesn’t make sense for all the people with connecting flights.
These flights were always VERY full, except for Tom tov. I’m not understanding it. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Easy to fill a flight. Tough to fill it profitably.
How do you fill up a flight unprofitably?
By selling seats for less than they cost to operate.
so then just raise the fees? why get out? Is it possible that many of the seats were going to frequent flyers and not “paying customers”?
That’s the strategy that Spirit takes, regarding selling seats for less than they cost to operate.. I typically fly EWR/PHL- FLL for around $100 RT/w taxes. I don’t purchase bags, I don’t select seats, on occasion I’ll buy a $3.00 coffee. I have no memberships and don’t fall for their lousy credit card deal. Spirit takes a huge loss on selling my seat for around $40 each way. If every Spirit flier flew the way I do (without purchasing the extras), the airline would go bankrupt.
Hope they restart phl to tlv route. Also united should do fll to tlv
All things being equal, AA to TLV is going to be the last choice for most people. Business seating is okay, premium economy is the least premium compared to other airlines and why in the world choose economy 10 across on a 777 vs 9 across on the 787 competition. Meals are terrible.
I recently flew AA JFK-TLV. When booking, the option to return via MIA was less expensive. Might be indicative of lower yields (or just the airline obsession with discounting hub stopovers vs. point-to point). Anyway, the flight was reasonably full to TLV and completely full to JFK.
100%, AA ten across is miserable, wouldn’t be surprised if the NY route gets axed as well
Delta is also 10 across…
flew mia to tlv last week
It was a full flight..
nice flight too. no complaints (and returned to jfk). smooth
Who is paying off who again?
When they went daily they switched from a 772 to 788, selling just 19 J seats. Not enough premium revenue.
Since they made the decision to go daily on the route they stopped selling HUMN fares frequently used by Christian missionary trips and Birthright lost funding from the Adelson family, taking a 20% hit to budget.
And new TLV flights keep getting added, eg Delta moved up the start of its ATL service.
The AA flight is not selling well in back, with over 100 empty seats several days over the next week.
Still bizarre that it went from 3x weekly to daily and then 2 months later a full cancel.
Can’t recall that happening on any other route.
Terrible news for those of us in South Florida. Now the only nonstop route is ELAL. I really cannot fathom the reasoning here!
Do you think ELAL will raise their prices from MIA since there’s no more competition, coupled with the fact that more ppl will need seats and fewer flights?
what do you mean that they could quite possibly kill their jfk route because it’s hard to operate just one flight profitably. Excuse my ignorance but what does one route have to do with the other, They were servicing different customers.
1. AA has past experience ditching TLV completely.
Clearly AA is struggling to make TLV work.
2. There are economies of scale that lower the cost of operating in TLV, including TLV sales staff, airport agents, etc. When you go from 14 to 7 weekly flights, the fixed costs of the operation are spread over fewer flights, which harm the profitability of the operation as a whole.
No surprise here. “Clearly AA is struggling to make TLV work”. Obviously. AA is the are the only airline that doesn’t have a credit card points transfer. I assume a very large percentage of the clientele flying this route are paying with CC points and when United, Delta, ELAL, and literally every other airline can be booked with points transferred from Chase, Amex, and Capital One, it’s no wonder that AA is going to lag behind.
El Al has no point transfer options.
You can book Elal with Qantas even in Business Class. AA flights are sometimes available with Qantas too but never in Business Class.
Rarely, as El Al blocks it from Qantas on most flights these days.
But that’s now what’s making or breaking the route.
REally upsetting…we’ve used them several times out of Miami, and were pretty happy. Business class was always sold out….hard to figure this
aa listened to dan and started flying the route b/t miami and israel, is that what you are implying
When I flew them a few months ago, it was absolutely packed!
That was the main reason I have been focused on keeping my Platnium status and spending on my AA cards
Wonder when american will reach out I have mia-tlv booked for my family March 26 dont know what to do now
They will probably rebook you via JFK.
American will run plenty of flights from Florida to Israel this year. Israel will charter as many planes as it needs to for rescue flights once the US government falls. How noone is paying attention, I am shocked!
I just got off the phone with American Airlines and they said there is no plan to cancel the route… Is there something I’m missing?
When you take this (which may be a coincidence), together with the “unexplained” flight diversions from TLV to US airports, the fact that the US government is compromised at the highest levels, pay very close attention to what Biden says when unscripted, and what Trump does and says, how is it not obvious already?!
yeah! also Biden is from Pennsylvania and Trump is from Florida this is too creepy…
What have you been smoking
Really hope they don’t ax the JFK flight. Very enjoyable flight and crew and another points option. Delta has lost their minds with Award redemptions and LY doesn’t have tons of availability through Qantas especially close in.
Would you pay more for delta over AA?
Delta is PLAYING CATCH UP TO AA
They started boston then dropped to 2 a week, then cancelled entirely for winter.
All of a sudden they thought to bring back atlanta. ‘
they seem to be shooting wildly
also bos-tlv is not a full flight
always seem to find availability.
Can’t figure out what united is doing THAT much better that other airlines don’t get
Dan, the problem is that we are running out of realistic US cities with hubs to expand flights to Tel Aviv. Breaking down the analysis, Charlotte and Philadelphia will likely never see flights to TLV. Delta is making another attempt with ATL. AA owns MIA, so that airport is now zilch. FLL has not a hub for any legacy carriers. BWI is not a hub for any legacy carriers. I think it’s a matter of time till United pulls out of DC, as that airport makes little sense for many travelers, and is overly redundant to EWR. Chicago is set up. What’s left? Delta with Detroit? Delta with Minneapolis? Texas can’t seem to light a fire to get it started. Orlando is a waste of time for ElAl. Las Vegas is a waste for ElAl. AA won’t do anything with Phoenix. If I were a betting man, I’d say Detroit is next in line in the United States.
What do you advise those of us who are booked on AA for Pesach from MIA to TLV? I called American and the agent was going to give me an AA credit. I do not want a $6400 credit on the airline, I want the ticket purchase refunded. Any thoughts on how to proceed ? When the flight is cancelled do I use my trip insurance?
Wait for the airline to cancel your tickets, then you’ll be entitled to a refund to your credit card. P.S. send regards to Stuart and Tirza
AA also canceled jfk – fll.
Made no sense – flights were full.
What does make sense is that AAL is down!
my change of MIA -TLV tickets now posted rerouted thru JFK As per AA, this change is eligible for a refund instead of flight credit, you just need to apply for refund instead of credit
@Dan, why do you say that the winter is slower, isn’t the winter the busiest season in Miami?
Most traffic is to TLV.
Delta now announced daily from ATL