Air Canada has been operating the best business class product from North America to Tel Aviv for some time now with their all aisle access lie-flat reverse herringbone seating on their 787s.
Last month, United started flying their new all aisle access lie-flat Polaris business class product on their 777-300ERs on the late night flight 90 from from Newark to Tel Aviv and the late night flight 91 from Tel Aviv to Newark.
Shortly after United announced that Tel Aviv would be among the very first routes to get the new Polaris product, Delta announced that in late October they would move the Tel Aviv route from a 777-200LR to an A330-300, which also meant the addition of all aisle access lie-flat reverse herringbone seating in business class.
In March, DDF sleuths figured out that El Al was going to configure their 787 business class with 32 seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, introduce premium economy with 28 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration, and coach with 222 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration. There won’t be first class on the 787, but the business class seat is far superior to the old first class seat anyway.
DDF members tavster attended a launch event today and reported that El Al announced that their first 787 Dreamliner routes will be Tel Aviv to London and Newark. Previous rumors for the first 787 deployment had included Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and Miami, but apparently El Al views United’s twice daily service from Newark as their biggest threat. They also confirmed that the 787s will have ViaSat WiFi onboard.
Business class will be staggered, similar to United’s Polaris instead of the reverse herringbone configuration that was expected. It will have to be a narrower business class seat than United’s as the 787 is a couple of feet narrower than the 777. That means El Al will still likely have the worst business class seats in the market, but at least they’ll be playing in the same ballpark.
El Al has a new microsite on the 787 here. You can toggle the language between Hebrew and English at the top.
Coach seating on the 787 will be narrower and tighter than on other planes. Pitch will drop from 32″ to 31″ or 30.” If you want to get comfortable you’ll want to spring for the new premium economy offering with a generous 38″ pitch with foot rests, a wider seat, and more recline.
CEO David Maimon said that “We had a dream, now we have a dreamliner.” They’ve at least brought their seat into the 21st century. Now let’s talk about the El Al labor issues, mileage program, and website functionality…
You can view a video on El Al’s 787 here:
On Premium Economy here:
And business class here:
Will the 787 be enough to bring some of El Al’s former customers back onboard? Share your thoughts in the comments!