Will El Al’s New 787 Dreamliners Finally Bring A New Generation Business Class Seat?

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El Al announced today that they will be purchasing and/or leasing 15 Boeing 787-800 and 787-900 Dreamliner aircraft and options for another 13 aircraft, with deliveries starting in the first half of 2017.

The 787s will replace their gas-guzzling 747 and 767 aircraft.

That’s great news for struggling El Al, but the real question is what will be the future of their premium class cabins where they have been bleeding premium fare passengers to their competition?

Currently El Al operates ancient business and first class cabins.  The business class seats don’t each have direct aisle access like Air Canada, Delta, and USAirways all offer.  They operate the only “first class” between North America and Tel Aviv, but the seats are made of faux-leather and they too don’t each have direct aisle access.

Hopefully a new aircraft will bring new premium class seating for El Al that does include direct aisle access for every seat.

The vast majority of airlines don’t operate 3 cabin first class on the 787 and I wouldn’t be surprised to see El Al jettison it as well.

The 787 isn’t dreamy for passengers in coach on most airlines though. Airlines have been stuffing seats into them at levels that far exceeded Boeing’s original projections, making travel in the back of the bus rather uncomfortable.  Seating is typically 9 across on a plane that’s 7% narrower than a 777.  Air Canada flies a 787 from Toronto to Tel Aviv with a seat width in coach of just 17.3″ and a pitch of just 30-31″ compares to an 18″ width and 32″ pitch on El Al’s 747.

Hopefully El Al can figure out how to re-position themselves as a premium carrier with the launch of the Dreamliner. And while we’re wishing for things, a redesigned website would be great as well 😀

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22 Comments On "Will El Al’s New 787 Dreamliners Finally Bring A New Generation Business Class Seat?"

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No. Not until they teach their flight attendants that the passengers are the ones who ultimately pay their salaries and treat them like human beings


Well done Dan! While you’re at it how about redesigned pricing and better service?


@NeverElAl: couldn’t agree more



btw i have inside info that elal is currecntly working to make the matmid program more usefull with elimanating or extending the expiration date and to give more miles for ticket sold in high season like now (they giving now 80 points for round trip even if the the ticket price is $1600 )


@NeverElAl: That’s asking for a lot. It’s part of the Israeli mentality.


“they have been bleeding premium fare passengers to their competition”
Where are the statistics?


i doubt it.
they will figure out how to stay on the bottom ;(


@Reb Yid:
No statistics needed, just ask any frequent traveler to Israel.


In the past I flew El Al business because I was foolishly patriotic. But finally I OD’d on the abuse my fellow passengers and I were getting from the true to form Israeli flight attendants. I now fly Air Canada business in their pods and find the long flight a pleasure rather than something to dread.


Where do you expect them to use these 787’s?
These carry less pax than a 747 or 777 so I do not see them using them to JFK or EWR. They must be crunching figures now to find the right, long and thin route. I bet Boston or another less busy USA destination. They also have many routes to Asia which might be a better fit.


Air Canada has 298 seats in their 789 and 251 seats in their 788.

El Al has 279 seats in the 772.

So I can definitely see it on all North America routes.

It should also make routes like MIA, ORD, and SFO more feasible.


Do flights in general become cheaper or more expensive as it gets closer to departure date?


El AL stewardess are a bit more less pleasant but truthfully I could live with that. Their J class product however is so inferior that my business goes elsewhere


I have done many comparisons and the gist is that the 772 is larger than the 787-900. There are also weight ability differences.
I still believe that LY would not be doing the smartest thing using a 787 on a heavy route. They might have better use on any route that can not fill as many seats and especially a long route. There are many routes that are ideal.


Really just depends how densely they outfit it, time shall tell.


@NeverElAl: we feel most safe flying el al… Wish business had flat beds!!! Find the help wonderful…. Of course u know true Israelites are born with a very necessary tough skin!!!! I personally respect that!!!!!

dan Not Dan

elal J fare is typically less than Delta and United for NYC -TLV (november elal 3,500, DL and UA 5k – 6k). Do you think that this equipment upgrade will see elal raise prices to match the other true lie flat carriers?


Dan, How dense?
Air Canada, your comparison airline is doing 3-3-3 on 787 and 3-4-3 on 777.
If LY were to do these cconfigurations I could accept your comparison.
I truly believe LY, in a misguided sense, thinks through their decisions. They are unlikely to move to a tighter seat configuration on long haul because they will get so much tzores, even halachic complaints.
I am among those that considers LY better for back of the bus rides.


I’m not sure why they are not taking the triple 7 X which will be coming 2017 / 18 much bigger and Whiter Aircraft the has a very long range like lufthansa and Emirates death made a large order


IMHO, they plan to keep their 744’s a long time. I am not sure they are really old mechanically because part of age is the number of flights, not the hours. Their 744’s average around 7-9 operations per week.
Yes, an argument can be made that equipment becomes obsolete not through bad reliability but by being too costly to operate compared to newer equipment. The current oil prices nix that and probably give Boeing and Airbus some concern.
They probably plan to use the 789 initially in routes that usually do not fill 400 seats daily. There are many such routes and it even opens new possibilities. They might even switch equipment by the season, much as LH does on their FRA-JFK runs.


Hey Dan,

Have you considered redesigning your very own Dansdeals.com?

This site sure could use a redesign too! Since you seem to demand from airlines that they stay on top of their game, I don’t understand how you neglect your own ‘baby’!

hershey lebovits

any code for Matmid Club Registration please thank you so much