Last August American Airlines announced plans to fly from Dallas Fort Worth to Tel Aviv starting October 2020. They’ve put that off to their Winter 2021 schedule.
With the announcement of their new partnership with JetBlue they unveiled plans to fly New York JFK – Tel Aviv.
There’s been speculation that this meant moving the DFW flight to New York and operating just a single Tel Aviv service. But after Thursday’s American Airlines earnings call, Senior Vice President Vasu Raja told employees that’s not the case.
Let me talk about DFW and JFK…first of all we will not be moving DFW – Tel Aviv to JFK – Tel Aviv. We will have two Tel Aviv flights. Both DFW and JFK will start next year.
Israeli carrier El Al’s future is in doubt, and United Airlines is already moving to capitalize on that – adding Chicago – Tel Aviv to their Newark and San Francisco routes.
American has the biggest subsidies ever for a flight by the state of Israel for its Dallas service. This opens up the evangelical market. Meanwhile a partnership with JetBlue gives the two airlines combined enough of a base of New York customers to support the flight, plus customers who would connect (but not backwards through Dallas), to make a flight work – at least that’s the expectation.
Before US Airways management took over at the airline, US Airways flew Philadelphia – Tel Aviv. This was a money-loser that continued longer than it might have with management distracted by the merger. American had a partnership with El Al, and there was often speculation of starting Miami service. Tel Aviv represents a strong tech market in addition to leisure travel, and before the pandemic El Al had been expanding its own U.S. footprint rapidly.