United Airlines resumed San Francisco to Tel Aviv on March 21st, spurred by its likely financial performance pre-coronavirus and Israel’s strong progress with vaccinations. San Francisco, with a significant Jewish population, is one of 12 airports in North America scheduled to have non-stop Tel Aviv flights this year.
United Airlines resumed San Francisco to Tel Aviv on March 21st, with the carrier operating the route three-weekly using B787-8s. It has the following schedule from April:
- San Francisco to Tel Aviv: departing at 20:00 on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, and arriving at 19:55 the next day
- Tel Aviv to San Francisco: departing at 00:55 on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, and arriving back at 06:00
United Airlines to Tel Aviv
United Airlines is the second-largest non-stop operator between North America and Tel Aviv this year, behind El Al but ahead of Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and Air Canada.
It has been second since 2012 when it entered the market from Newark in April after Continental ended it a month before. It then added San Francisco in March 2016, Washington Dulles in May 2019, and Chicago in September 2020.
12 airports in North America have non-stops
Tel Aviv has non-stop flights scheduled to 12 airports in North America this year, double the number at the start of the decade. If all five airlines are combined, 19 routes are down. However, at the time of writing, two airports served by El Al – Boston and Las Vegas – aren’t available for booking, but they may appear later.
Despite this, and that seats have been cut in recent months and may change further, capacity has held up well. Subject to further changes, it will be very close to that achieved in 2019, aided by:
- The introduction of Chicago, Las Vegas, and Washington starting in or since 2019
- Delta adding a second-daily JFK service for part of this year, with the A330-900 joining the long-standing A330-300
- Three new routes by American Airlines, including a new airport for Tel Aviv’s route map: Dallas
American Airlines’ coming new routes
The strong position is also from American Airlines’ coming new routes. The carrier last served Tel Aviv in 2016 from Philadelphia, but will return this year with three routes:
- Dallas: three-weekly from October 31st with B787s
- Miami: three-weekly from June 4th using B777-200ERs
- New York JFK: once-daily from May 6th with B777-200ERs
American will join El Al to Miami, meaning eight weekly flights in all in the week it begins, and both El Al and Delta to JFK, with 42 weekly services.
United had a 90% seat factor on SFO-Tel Aviv
Booking data, obtained through OAG Traffic Analyzer, estimates that United had a 90% seat load factor on San Francisco-Tel Aviv in 2019. Just over half of passengers (52%) were point-to-point, while around 48% connected over its California hub.
With nearly three in ten passengers, Los Angeles was, not surprisingly, by far the largest market from over San Francisco to/from Tel Aviv. Las Vegas was next, although at less than half the size.