American Airlines Inaugurates Its Second Route To Israel

American Airlines has inaugurated a new route between Miami and Tel Aviv. American’s second route to Israel comes as the airline is now doubling down in a market it had not served for roughly five years. Emboldened by a changing airline industry, American Airlines is certainly showing its commitment to the market, with yet a third route set to start later this year.

American Boeing 777-200ER
American Airlines has inaugurated nonstop service to Tel Aviv from Miami. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

American Airlines inaugurates nonstop service from Miami

Miami International Airport (MIA) is one of American’s largest hubs, and it is the airline’s gateway to points south of the United States. However, the airport is now home to the second nonstop route on American Airlines to Israel. You can watch a video of the inaugural flight below:

American Airlines flies to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport (TLV). This is the main international gateway into Israel, and all US carriers flying to Israel serve this airport. El Al, Israel’s flag carrier, also has a heavy presence at the airport and flies between Miami and Tel Aviv.

American Airlines is serving the route three times per week using a Boeing 777-200ER. Flights depart on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, departing MIA at 20:00 and arriving the next day in TLV at 15:10 (all times are local). The return flight departs TLV at 23:55 and arrives the next day at 06:25 in MIA (all times are local).

The Boeing 777-200ER operating this route seats 273 passengers in a three-class configuration. There are 37 Flagship Business seats, which is the airline’s premier lie-flat international long-haul product with direct aisle access. There are 24 seats in premium economy, which is comparable to a domestic first class recliner-style product.

Rounding out the aircraft, there are 66 seats in the airline’s extra-legroom economy product, branded as “Main Cabin Extra.” Finally, there are 146 seats in economy class. All seats feature access to WiFi, seatback entertainment, and power.

AA 777-200ER
The 777-200ER is currently flying all of the carrier’s routes between the US and Israel. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

American’s Israel service

American Airlines currently serves Israel with daily flights to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to TLV. This route also runs with a Boeing 777-200ER.

This is a heavily competitive route. Delta Air Lines serves the route twice daily, and El Al can fly up to four daily nonstop flights on the route. Currently, El Al is flying once per day on the route due to reduced demand and heavy entry restrictions in Israel.

American Airlines is hoping the partnership with JetBlue will be able to keep this route afloat. While JetBlue is planning on launching flights to Europe, JetBlue cannot and will not have the planes to fly to Tel Aviv, so American is hoping it can rely on some feed from JetBlue’s customers seeking to go to Israel.

American Boeing 777
American Airlines is not scared of the competition. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

This fall, American Airlines is expected to launch its third nonstop service to Israel. Thrice-weekly service using a Boeing 787-9 is expected to launch between TLV and the carrier’s largest hub at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). This will be another hotly anticipated service.

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Interestingly enough, DFW was supposed to be the first gateway to be connected to Israel. American had previously planned to use a Boeing 787-9 to connect DFW to TLV thrice per week from September 2020. Those plans, obviously, did not materialize.

Miami to Tel Aviv and New York to Tel Aviv were all announced after the DFW-TLV route. However, DFW-TLV is launching last, largely because of how much the pandemic altered services to Israel.

American Airlines
American Airlines will use a 787-9 to run the DFW-TLV route. Photo: Getty Images

Returning to the market after five years

American Airlines decided to cut its Tel Aviv flights in 2016. At the time, American Airlines was flying from its Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) hub to Tel Aviv using an Airbus A330.

When the carrier decided to cut the route, the airline cited poor financial performance, including that it had lost over $20 million on the route alone in 2015 and that the route had never turned a profit. American carried over the route after its merger with US Airways.

US Airways A330
American Airlines took over the PHL-TLV route from US Airways after the merger. Photo: Adrian Pingstone via Wikimedia Commons

Somewhat interestingly, the company’s Q&A offered to flight attendants after the route’s discontinuation included the potential for an MIA or JFK to TLV route – both of which are now operational five years later.

Now, American Airlines sees an opportunity in Israel and is taking that opportunity to come to the country with three nonstop routes. With two of three routes already flying, American appears to be doing well in the market.

Are you going to fly American Airlines to Israel? Are you glad to see these flights go into operation? Let us know in the comments!

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