EL AL Announces Chicago Schedule and Boeing 787-8 Routes

EL AL Israel Airlines announced a finalized schedule for the carrier’s new Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Tel Aviv (TLV) route.  The highly-anticipated route begins March 22, 2020, and will be flown three times per week on EL AL’s Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

EL AL Chicago Tel Aviv Dreamliner
EL AL’s New Route from Chicago (ORD) to Tel Aviv (TLV) Begins March 2020. Image by GCMap.

The Israeli carrier has been in a growth phase lately, with four new US routes added. In addition to Chicago, EL AL announced a long-awaited (and delayed till 2020) route to San Francisco (SFO), as well as once-weekly frequencies to Las Vegas (LAS) and Orlando (MCO).

EL AL’s newest route: Tel Aviv (TLV) to Chicago-O’Hare (ORD)

The Tel Aviv (TLV) to Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) route begins March 22, 2020, and will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays with the following schedule:

FlightDeparture CityDepartsArrival CityArrivesEquipmentDays
LY 23TLV12:00ORD16:30789Tuesdays, Sundays
LY 23TLV12:00ORD16:30788Thursdays
LY 24ORD18:50TLV14:10+1789Tuesdays, Sundays
LY 24ORD18:50TLV14:10+1788Thursdays

EL AL’s larger Boeing 787-9 operates on Tuesdays and Sundays, with the smaller 787-8 servicing the route on Thursdays. The route is 6,180nm and well within the range of both Dreamliner variants.

EL AL business class 787 dreamliner
EL AL Business Class on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Image by EL AL.

Chicago-O’Hare — one of the world’s busiest airports — has lacked a nonstop service to Tel Aviv for over twenty years. EL AL last served the city in 2007. Chicago’s City Hall emphasized the city’s large Jewish population, roughly 300,000 residents, as one of the benefits of the new service.

Israel Consul General Aviv Ezra thanked Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel for the “win-win” flight and economic opportunity for both cities, adding:

We look forward to getting Israelis addicted to deep dish pizza, and Chicagoans hooked on hummus.

EL AL will enjoy a monopoly on the Chicago – Tel Aviv route, at least for now. United Airlines serve Tel Aviv twice daily from Newark (EWR) and daily from San Francisco (SFO), and will soon add a nonstop from Washington-Dulles (IAD) to Tel Aviv.  United has by far the most robust Tel Aviv network and it would not be surprising to see the Chicago-based carrier launch a nonstop service to compete with EL AL.

EL AL announces Boeing 787-8 fleet plans

EL AL will begin taking delivery of its Boeing 787-8 fleet — the smallest Dreamliner variant — later this year. Toronto (YYZ) will be the first city to receive EL AL’s Boeing 787-8, followed by Boston (BOS) and Paris (CDG), according to RoutesOnline. San Francisco (SFO) will begin receiving the 787-8 when the airline launches the new service in March 2020.

Tel Aviv (TLV) – Toronto (YYZ) switches to the 787-8 (788) beginning November 17, 2019, and operates three times weekly. Boston’s existing three-weekly flight, currently flown on a 777-200, switches to the Dreamliner on December 15, 2019. Lastly, EL AL will begin sending the 787-8 to Paris (CDG) on two flights per week beginning December 16, 2019.

El Al Boeing 787 Dreamliner 787-9
EL AL Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Image by Boeing.

EL AL’s Boeing 787-8 seats 238 passengers in a three class configuration. It offers 20 business class, 35 premium economy, and 183 economy seats. The long-range aircraft is considered a direct replacement of the Boeing 767, which EL AL recently retired.

EL AL’s US network grows to eight cities

Chicago is EL AL’s eighth destination served in the US, joining New York (JFK and Newark), Boston (BOS), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), San Francisco (SFO), Las Vegas (LAS), and Orlando (MCO).

EL AL recently retired its aging 767-300 fleet and will also retire its 747-400s later this year as it begins accepting additional Dreamliner aircraft. EL AL’s longhaul fleet will consist of brand new Dreamliners – both 787-8 and 787-9 variants – as well as a soon-to-be refurbished Boeing 777-200 fleet.

H/T: Jim Liu, AirlineRoute and RoutesOnline