United Adds Flights, Delta Reduces Flights To Israel

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Earlier this year American abruptly cancelled service to Tel Aviv shortly after their USAirways merger amidst contradictory statements from their president about whether the Philadelphia-Tel Aviv route was lucrative or a money-loser. More bizarrely, they also ruled out launching the route from their JFK or Miami hubs. It’s unlikely that we’ll ever know if profitability was the real reason or if it was related to outside pressure or due to TWA pension liabilities in Israel.

In the aftermath of that cancellation Delta announced they would increase JFK-Tel Aviv service from 7 to 11 flights per week and United announced 3 weekly flights from San Francisco to Tel Aviv.

For those keeping score at home that meant that the 67-72 weekly flights between North America and Tel Aviv this summer looked like:
Boston: 3 weekly flights on El Al.
JFK: 11 weekly flights on Delta, 15-19 weekly flights on El Al.
Los Angeles: 5 weekly flights on El Al.
Newark: 14 weekly flights on United, 6 weekly flights on El Al.
San Francisco: 3 weekly flights on United.
Toronto: 7 weekly flights on Air Canada, 3-4 weekly flights on El Al.

-Delta has announced that they will reduce their JFK-Tel Aviv flying back to 7 weekly flights effective 9/6. Apparently their daytime flights didn’t perform as they had hoped.
-United has announced that they will increase their San Francisco-Tel Aviv service from 3 to 7 weekly flights effective in October as the 787 operated route exceeded their expected demand. The daily flights are not yet for sale but should be soon. The route’s success is great news and I wouldn’t be surprised to see United try out Chicago-Tel Aviv in the future.

In other news, Atlanta would love to have nonstop service to Tel Aviv. Delta flew nonstop from Atlanta to Tel Aviv until about 5 years ago. Apparently they are willing to offer subsidies to get the service off the ground again, but if the route didn’t work in the past it seems unlikely to work again for Delta.

It’s even more unlikely that El Al would start nonstop service to Atlanta before offering service to Chicago or Miami. El Al will receive their 787 order next year and I’d have to imagine that Chicago and Miami are in the expansion plans. If only they would fix their issues first

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30 Comments On "United Adds Flights, Delta Reduces Flights To Israel"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Which uses the least amount of miles if I will be transferring from either AMEX or chase? For one way from NY- TLV? Thank you


I think it’s time it should be a straight flight from montreal to tlv


El al really needs to get their act together. I used to fly them exclusively to Israel, but their product (especially business) has been greatly surpassed by nearly every other carrier. Only thing they have going for them is the kosher food, but how much is that worth, really? Hopefully they’ll get back in the game with the 787s.


Maybe something to do with scheduling all those JFK-TLV and TLV-JFK flights on or around Shabbos. Brilliant move, Delta. ???


El Al flying direct to Atlanta? There should be a lot of places in line before that…
For El Al to extend to markets that don’t necessarily have major Jewish populations, they’d have to make TLV into a hub to offer connecting flights to other Middle Eastern and North African destinations. As long as Israeli relations with the world continue the way they are, I don’t see that happening.


Delta didn’t even start the extre four days flight to Israel,
They only starting on May 28.
I can’t believe he they already announced that they will discontinuing it on 9/8.


United just announced increased frequency for SFO TLV route – Daily flight!


@Dan: i actually flew last year on a test flight (that was open to the public) a nonstop TLV – YUL Mon, 27APR15 AC83 ON A 787 and the FA told me that there was some talk about launching such a flight in the future… Who knows


The SFO-TLV was actually increased to a 777 for the summer due to high demand. I would say that united should jump in and take over the space Delta didn’t give a chance to develop. A mid night flight returning at midnight like LY 3 times a week. They won’t flu empty


Umm…did you read the post?

Was a one-off for Pesach. FAs like to make stuff up in my experience.

Actually it switched to 777 because one of their 787s were taken back from Continental staffing to United staffing and it’s now running the EWR-LAX route.
I think United will try ORD-TLV before a 3rd EWR-TLV flight.


Any possibility of a DFW-TLV route?


any possibility of a hnl-tlv route?


@Dan Both LY and AC use to offer direct flights to YUL about 18 years ago there was some opensky agreement dispute behind the route and in the end it’s ceased to exist, Meanwhile the only hope is if Air Transat will fill in the route and than will see AC taking it back

As for the direct Flight to YUL AC is operating this flight Every year on around remembrance day/independence day in conjunction with the Jewish agency for Israel


Happy to hear that the SFO-TLV flights have been successful. I assume the connection to Silicon Valley 1 and 2 is having an impact. 👍 As other smart countries who want to invest in Israel increase, perhaps in time we will see an expansion in flights. The countries who are distancing themselves from Israel, that are becoming more and more anti-semitic, that are struggling with the influx of terrorists, that have water shortage issues, health crises, etc., will lose out on state of the art developing technology that they need to survive their increasing struggles.


@dan not sure why you say apparently the day flights hasn’t performed well. It hasn’t started yet. The announcement states it is beginning this week. If you are talking in terms of advance bookings, ok but business and higher fare paying passengers tend to book closer to date of travel.


I understand the ATL Delta hub situation but I’d think a Miami or Florida route would work better than ATL-TLV.




There still needs to be sufficient advance bookings for a flight to be successful.
Clearly there hasn’t been.

It wouldn’t for Delta. And AA wants no part of TLV.
But I do think El Al will launch MIA-TLV nonstop flights within the next 2 years.


@Dan: Do they still operate as 2 airlines in the back end?


Eretz Yisrael!


Green cabbage!

Office chair!


@Iz: Prior to adding the extra 4PM flight DL used to have the Thursday flight leave at 730PM instead of 11PM in order to arrive before Shabbat. I assume they will return to that once the remove the 2nd flight. This leaves no JFK-TLV flights with Shabbat time issues (other than Friday night of course)


I don’t understand how UA can support a 7 day a week flight from SF. You’re basically banking on folks from SF, LA and some other small west coast cities. It is completely out of the way that you lose the rest of the nation as nobody is going to connect from the Midwest or the South thru SF.


@R: Your getting the entire West Coast/Mexico plus the Tech World


Seems like LY could use their 787s to make LAX-TLV work as a daily flight


El Al or another airline needs to get a NON stop from Chicago
to TelAviv. A city of about 312,000 Jews


Do you know what the Jewish population of Atlanta is? According to the latest statistics, it exceeds 160,000.

However, the much larger market is the Evangelical Christian one, which is anywhere from 33-47% of the population of the Southeast, depending upon definition. Evangelicals tend to be the strongest supporters of Israel and are traveling there in exponentially increasing numbers. Delta’s ATL-TLV route was not dropped for financial reasons – the flights were very popular. It was the cost of gates at TLV combined with a lack of suitable aircraft and the increase in its catalogue of long-range international flights.

It would make TREMENDOUS sense for Delta to bring the ATL-TLV flight back, especially if American won’t do a Miami/Ft. Lauderdale non-stop.


Atlanta is a major hub for Delta, gathering all travelers from the mid-Atlantic states. There would be high use for direct flights to Tel Aviv ,between the Christian and Jewish travelers


@Nate: totally agree.


Our experience in flying with El Al out of Boston this past winter was horrendous. I really wish Delta would find an alternative. We chose El Al for security reasons. Those evaporated when we got on board leased planes without the built in detection systems.
El Al was using retired planes and a Spanish airline. Service was poor, the seats were so used we were bottoming out requiring to pad them with blankets, no individual movie screen, advertised bluetooth connection to a poor entertainment service did not exist, food was bad,….should I go on?