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 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…