American Airlines Increasing Service To Israel (Before Even Launching Flights)

Filed Under: American

In early August American Airlines announced some exciting international expansion, including new flights from Dallas to Tel Aviv, Philadelphia to Casablanca, and more.

The Dallas to Tel Aviv flight is no doubt the most interesting, given that it’s such a long flight, and also given that it marks American Airlines finally returning to Israel (which seemed like a huge gap in their network).

Tickets for the new route went on sale in mid-October, as American is only launching the route as of September 9, 2020.

While the route was initially supposed to operate only 3x weekly, it looks like American is increasing frequencies on this route way ahead of the launch.

As noted by @airlineroute, American has filed for seasonal service increases in the market. As of October 25, 2020, American intends to operate the Dallas to Tel Aviv route on a daily basis using a Boeing 787-9, subject to government approval.

The schedule varies a bit depending on the day, but still generally operates as follows:

AA18 Dallas to Tel Aviv departing 10:20PM arriving 7:10PM (+1 day)
AA19 Tel Aviv to Dallas departing 10:05PM arriving 5:05AM (+1 day)

As I noted when the route was first announced, a 3x weekly route to Tel Aviv can hardly compete with what’s offered by United, though it’s a start. So it’s nice to see American go daily on this route, at least in the winter season. American’s 787-9s have 285 seats, so they’ll offer nearly 2,000 seats in the market each week per direction.

American’s 787-9 business class

It does seem like they’re going from one extreme to the other, though. To really have a fighting chance you’d think the route would have been 4-5x weekly to begin with (I generally think you’re limiting your customer base when you launch a route but it doesn’t operate for two consecutive days of the week), but now they’re going daily.

I’m curious if American made this decision because advance bookings are that strong (which I doubt, since the route doesn’t launch for another 10 months), because they see the potential in the market, or because American simply doesn’t have better places to fly their 787s in winter (which sadly wouldn’t surprise me, since they are known to send 787s to Cancun).

What do you make of American doing daily on their Dallas to Tel Aviv route?

Comments
  1. “The Dallas to Tel Aviv flight is no doubt the most interesting, given that it’s such a long flight”

    Hey, if people can survive flying from DFW to DXB or DOH, DFW to TLV isn’t so bad.

  2. @Markus

    Maybe, but I doubt it. This flight isn’t really intended for the Jewish market. If it were, it would be launching from Philadelphia, Miami, or LA. There aren’t too many travelers from the east coast, where the vast majority of American Jews, live who are going to backtrack to DFW to take a flight to Israel…

  3. This is great news! The Israeli economy is doing well, especially Tel Aviv and Israeli’s love to come visit the states.

    I still find it an interesting choice for AA to launch this service from Dallas, but with 900 flights a day they should be able to provide feed.

    AA is way behind the game as Delta and United combined will be flying 6 daily flights to Israel this summer. And American is at a measly 1

  4. Do you think we will be seeing Delta relaunch their Atlanta to Tel Aviv service in the coming years?

    Whenever I take their flight from. JFK to TLV, it’s always packed.

  5. I’m actually really not shocked. As someone who grew up with a lot of Jewish friends, and being from Oklahoma, this is the most convenient way to get to Israel. No connecting in Europe or in NYC, which if you’re flying out of OKC/TUL could easily be two connections.

    A DFW-TLV nonstop could mean just a few hours drive or a short hop to DFW.

  6. My guess is that it’s partly status. High profile route from AA HQ city. Also strong interest from Evangelical Christians in Texas and Midwest that will drive traffic on this route.

  7. The Midwestern and Southwestern evangelicals and mission trips alone can fill capacity on these flights. Add in defense business (Lockheed, Raytheon) and tech business, and you’ve got a no-brainer for a flight. It’s why it’s been so confounding that AA didn’t have a flight to TLV.

  8. It’s slightly bizarre in that the increase comes after the Jewish holidays that are generally the busiest season for Israel travel.

  9. American doesnt fly out of Dallas they fly out of DFW. Two very different entities.

    As for a better market… What DFW needs is a direct flight to Athens. Those flights through PHL and ORD are full all the time however flights to the rest of europe always have lots of open seats. They also need to bring back the october flights as that is some of the best weather there. Besides any time you can avoid PHL or ORD you do it.

  10. I live in LA and fly to TLV at least three times a year via SFO on United. I much prefer AA (have status on both AA and United) and am really looking forward to this flight so I think the increase makes sense. I am sure that I will not be the only one feeding to this flight from LAX. Additionally, the timing is similar to the United flight through SFO and given the early arrival in DFW I should be able to get to LAX by 8:30. I get delayed out of SFO every single time.

  11. By not starting it daily until Oct 25th they are missing the big Jewish holiday season in Israel in early October

  12. I’m guessing the timing of the increase is (at least) partially due to lack of availability slots at those time at TLV. The holiday season sees a huge increase in traffic.

  13. Since AA launched flight from Dallas to Tel Aviv do u think they will fly from other city’s to Tel Aviv like NY and Miami

  14. Slightly surprising that they upped the frequency this far ahead of the launch…But then again look at a all the new TLV frequencies over the past 3 years ago….Has any one of them performed poorly? SFO? MIA? IAD?

    I think there is a stronger demand for this flight due to the fact that this will be THE ONLY direct flight on OW from North America to TLV.

  15. I think AA’s biggest regret on this route is that they have scaled back so much on premium inventory. If you look at what UA and El Al offer on their routes it is significantly more premium friendly.

  16. AA merged with TWA and got rid of TW’s JFK-TLV flight.
    AA merged with USAir and got rid of US’s PHL-TLV flight.

    @Markus @S F In 2020 Rosh Hashanah begins on 18 September and Yom Kippur, the 27th, so they’re obviously not concerned with the Jewish holidays.

    @AdamL You missed NY with about 1,770,000 Jews.
    California has 1,183,000.
    Florida 629,000.
    New Jersey 545,000.
    Illinois 298,000.
    Pennsylvania 298,000.
    Massachusetts 293,000.

    Texas has about 166,500 Jews.

    @DaninMCI @Jon You’re probably correct about the passengers they are trying to attract: Christian Evangelicals.

  17. Still confused why they pulled this out of Philly. The flight was full every day with Jewish people driving from Northern Jersey just to avoid NY airports. Plus, when they started the flight, several Israel companies opened offices in the Philly region and they opened a consulate in the city. I wouldn’t be surprised if eventually a 2nd Tel Aviv flight in AAs system leaves from Philly in the future.

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