United to become first US airline to resume Israel flights

United Airlines is set to resume Israel service early next month, becoming the first U.S. airline to do so following the suspension of service related to the war between Israel and Hamas. The Chicago-based carrier, historically the largest U.S. airline serving Israel, scrapped all of its Tel Aviv flights in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, the two other U.S. carriers serving Israel, also stopped flying to the country after the attacks. This left Israel’s flag carrier El Al as the only airline serving the U.S.-to-Tel Aviv market.

Now, nearly six months later, United is ready to resume service, although initially on only one of its four Israel routes. The airline will resume one of its two frequencies to Tel Aviv from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) beginning on March 2. The flights will operate with a technical stop in Munich on March 2 and 4. United plans to restart its second daily Newark-to-Tel Aviv flight in May, followed by service from Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. in the fall. The resumed flights are now available for booking on United’s website, with the carrier stating that it will continue to monitor the situation in Tel Aviv and adjust the schedule as needed.

Delta Air Lines, which has been building its Israel network in recent years with new flights from Atlanta and Boston, exited Israel entirely in October. The airline plans to resume service from New York beginning on May 1, according to Israel’s aviation authorities. Flights from Atlanta and Boston are not currently available on Delta’s website, and there is no published resumption date at this time.

American Airlines, which has just one Israel route left from New York to Tel Aviv after scrapping its Miami service last year, also closed its Tel Aviv outstation after the outbreak of the war. The airline does not plan to resume flights until the fall, with flights currently scheduled to resume on October 27. American shared in a statement that the safety and security of customers and team members remain their highest priorities.

United conducted a detailed safety analysis in making the decision to resume service to Tel Aviv, working closely with security experts and government officials in the United States and Israel. The airline also collaborated with the Air Line Pilots Association and the Association of Flight Attendants to develop protocols to ensure the safety and well-informed of passengers and crew. United’s decision to resume service to Israel marks a significant step in the recovery of international travel and demonstrates the airline’s commitment to serving its global network.

As airlines continue to monitor and adjust their schedules in response to changing conditions, passengers are advised to stay informed of any updates or changes to their travel plans. The resumption of service to Israel by United, Delta, and American Airlines signals a positive development in the aviation industry and offers hope for the return of air travel to pre-pandemic levels. Travelers looking to visit Israel or connect through Tel Aviv can now consider the options provided by these U.S. carriers as they gradually resume service to the region.

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