Details: American Airlines’ New York To Tel Aviv Flight

Filed Under: American

A few days ago we learned the details of American Airlines’ new flight between New York and Tel Aviv, and this flight his now bookable.

American Airlines’ New York to Tel Aviv flight

American Airlines will be launching year-round, daily nonstop flights between New York and Tel Aviv as of May 6, 2021, and this flight is now on sale. The service will operate with the following schedule:

New York JFK to Tel Aviv departing 11:10PM arriving 5:15PM (+1 day)
Tel Aviv to New York JFK departing 12:50AM arriving 6:00AM

The ~5,700 mile flight is blocked at 11hr5min eastbound and 12hr10min westbound.

American’s New York to Tel Aviv route

American Airlines intends to use a Boeing 777-200ER for the route, featuring 273 seats, including 37 business class seats and 24 premium economy seats.

American Airlines’ 777 premium economy

Is there any award & upgrade space on this route?

With new long haul routes I always like to check if there’s any valuable upgrade or award space that people might like to take advantage of. In the case of the JFK to TLV flight, it’s a mixed bag:

  • I don’t see any saver level business class awards, as they currently start at 125,000 AAdvantage miles one-way
  • I do, however, see lots of confirmable business class upgrade space, whether you want to upgrade with miles or systemwide upgrades

One version of American’s 777 business class seat

How this fits into American’s strategy

New York to Tel Aviv is the first long haul route being launched as part of American’s new strategic partnership with JetBlue. The airlines have a new partnership focused on the Northeast, and with this we’ll see American launch several long haul flights, with JetBlue providing most of the connectivity.

American is also expected to add a seasonal New York to Athens flight this summer, as well as a New York to Rio de Janeiro route in December 2021. On top of that, we’ve been told to expect up to a couple of dozen global destinations out of New York within the next few years, so it sounds like there will be some significant growth.

In addition to this, American Airlines will launch a Dallas to Tel Aviv route as of October 31, 2021. We initially learned about this route in September 2019, but it ended up being delayed significantly due to coronavirus. Even though that route was announced much earlier, it’ll launch over five months later. In fairness, New York to Tel Aviv is probably a safer bet, especially during these uncertain times.

Furthermore, American will also launch a Miami to Tel Aviv route as of June 2021.

American will fly to Tel Aviv from Dallas & New York

New York to Tel Aviv is a competitive market

While American Airlines will be the only airline to fly from Dallas to Tel Aviv, New York to Tel Aviv is a very crowded market already. Looking at the schedule for this upcoming summer:

  • Delta will operate 2x daily JFK to TLV flights
  • United will operate 2x daily EWR to TLV flights
  • EL AL will operate 3x daily JFK to TLV flights and 2x daily EWR to TLV flights

In other words, there are already up to 9x daily frequencies in the market, and with American it will be up to 10x daily. Wow.

In fairness, New York is the biggest US O&D market for Israel, and on top of that American will have the strength of JetBlue’s network for connectivity.

EL AL operates up to 5x daily flights to the New York area

Bottom line

American Airlines will be launching a daily flight between New York and Tel Aviv as of May 2021, and flights are now on sale. It’s exciting to see American finally return to Israel after an absence of so many years, as it’s a market where American has really been lacking.

I’ll be curious to see how these routes perform for American, given the competition.

What do you make of American’s New York to Tel Aviv route?

  1. Wow the Tel Aviv market is getting competitive that’s for sure.

    But American has the worst product, why wouldn’t they deploy the Dreamliner on this route?

    Delta, well of-course has a nice product, and will use their new a330 on this route, United fly’s their 787-10 or most premium 777-300er on this route and El Al has upgraded to the comfortable 787.

    American has hands down the worst product on the route and isn’t even trying.

    Though it has been said Israel may have a faster tourism re-opening story as it has been a leader in Covid vaccine administration and thus I expect large demand for Israel this summer

  2. @Sharon, they’re not going to operate a 787 on this route because JFK isn’t a 787 pilot or crew base, yet and flying one in from another hub doesn’t make sense. AA’s product on the 777 is actually pretty good and you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about or have not flown Delta’s out dated non refurbished A330-300 Delta One cabin). It is a crowded market they are entering, but US-Israel is broadly underserved and the NYC to TLV market is among the biggest O&D international markets after LHR and CDG from the area.

  3. A couple of dozen international routes out of JFK in the next couple of years on American? I don’t think so.

  4. Crowded market for NYC-TLV and you are correct Sharon, by flying 777-200 they prob have the worst product as well. However, this will be the only direct OW flight from North America to TLV and I do think that this year due to covid, many travelers would prefer direct flight over connecting in Madrid (Iberia) or London (British Airways). So they should pick up some travelers by convenience factor alone.

  5. Ben,

    First off: great site, I enjoy reading your articles. Now for the nitpick: the picture you have connected to the caption that states that “EL AL operates up to 5x daily flights to the New York area” shows an EL AL aircraft in **Hong Kong**. Admittedly, the caption doesn’t state that the picture is New York or Tel Aviv, but still, how hard would it have been to find a pic of an El Al airliner at New York or Tel Aviv (to better illustrate the caption)?


  6. Don’t AA and El Al have a partnership? And I’m pretty sure El Al and Jetblue do to, which makes this route even more interesting.

    And for those talking about Delta’s A330 cabin, they are planning to upgrade one of the daily flights to the A330-900neo, with Delta One Suites and Premium Economy. But AA’s 777 is also pretty nice in Business.

  7. Lucky: What effect do you think this will have on J fares? Will they decrease (across all alliances) because of the increased competition or will this flight (and DFW) just capture OW passengers that would have connected in LHR or MAD, leaving Star and Skyteam to continue with their current pricing?

  8. I read that the AA/JetBlue partnership was approved by Trump admin without public comment. Any chance the approval could be rescinded and reconsidered by the new administration?

  9. Regarding feed to/from jetBlue, the idea of transferring between Terminal 5 and the AA terminal at JFK strikes me as a big impediment.

  10. That return time is a rough one. Being LAX based I would probably pursue other options. The lounges at TLV are really poor and spending a few very late night hours prior to this flight is enough to turn me off.

  11. I’m not sure why AA is doing Tel Aviv out of NY. The market is already overcrowded. US Airways Philly to Tel Aviv was a gold mine. Without crowded airspace and lower costs, the flights were always full with connecting passengers not to mention the large Jewish population in the Philly metro. Many people also drove from central Jersey to Philly for that flight just to avoid having to drive into NYC. They said it never made money but everyone knows that was bull. It was one of US Airways most profitable routes. Rumor was there was some sort of legal limbo with AA and US Airways, becoming AA, had to stop flights until whatever legalities were cleared up with the Israeli government. I’m not saying Philly has disadvantages, but the market in NYC overall is extremely competitive and very costly. AA better have a game plan and amp up the service or they are going to bleed money to other carriers.

  12. Wow. AA adding flights from JFK. After their hack job at JFK the last few years, only way to go is up. Hopefully the start of an AA resurgence in NYC.

  13. Does anyone else see this AA/B6 partnership as a big line of BS? Let me see…for buying a ticket on this “great partnership”, I check-in, go through security and fly B6 to JFK-T5. Then, I exit security, take the tram to T1 and go through security again? (and possibly check-in with AA again depending on how checked-luggage transfers).

    Thanks, but no thanks…I’ll stick with those partnerships where connections aren’t as complicated.

  14. Oy Vei, First things First! will they offer Matzo Ball Soup, Latkes, Gefilte Fish With the meal service? Otherwise stop waisting my time, I am popping my dentures back in and fly another Airline!

  15. I think AA’s return to JFK is interesting. If they really think JetBlue’s feed is going to make them successful, I don’t see it.

    AA’s product is inferior to virtually every US carrier and Delta owns NY as a result. Customer loyalty is very high in NY.

    American clearly aligned with Alaska and JetBlue to try to compete with DL versus investing in delivering a better product.

    If I were the two smaller carriers, I’d be very concerned about how a partnership with AA will impact their reputation.

    This will probably help Delta in the long run.

  16. The only route out of NYC that AA has maintained for any length of time with an average fare premium to Delta and United is Heathrow.
    DL and UA still get average fares as good as AA even to Spain, home of oneworld’s Iberia.

    DL has scheduled the A330-900 on one of its 2 JFK-TLV flights.

    The JFK-TLV market is a byproduct of a large enough presence in the NYC market; AA dropped below the line of significance in NYC years ago. B6 can’t help AA in the local NYC market.

    Just like every other route, AA will fly it from DFW and miss half of the country – whether going to Asia or Europe – or loses tons of money trying to compete with DL and UA from the largest and most competitive coastal markets.

  17. To compete fairly on the new JFK-TLV route and provide for success, AA should employ the 777-300 type aircraft on this long haul. Having flown this route on many occasions this flight necessitatesthe best aircraft type possible.

    As a One World member Good Luck AA.

  18. As a orthodox jew that frequently travels between NY and Israel, I can say that no matter the competition,AA will probably be successful. Their are so many people including thousands of students who travel this route all year long,and their is always demand for this route. Having now the choice of a 4th airline that flies direct will be very good for the market in my opinion.

  19. So now with this additional choice which program provides the best award redemption opportunity for the NY-TLV flight for J or F seats?

  20. For all the AA haters – and I am often one of them – you are wrong in this case. Under normal travel conditions AA has the best lounge at JFK. One of few parts of AA infrastructure that is objectively good. All lounges at TLV are equally bad. Advantage AA. Better product if connecting to LA or Miami. Given demand on the route, that is probably good enough to do fine.

  21. @Michael Costa, you obviously don’t fly AA nor do you really know what you’re talking about. Sure, AA gets a bad rap but quite frankly, a lot of that is based on airplanes they have since retired. At JFK, AA has a far superior terminal operation to Delta, and a much better lounge on the premium side of things (even though Flagship isn’t open there or anywhere right now due to the pandemic). Delta has no specific lounge for the Delta One product and its lounges are crowded and decidedly basic and have not been invested in much since they were rebranded in 2007. American’s business class seat is actually very good and offers quite a bit of privacy compared to Delta’s aging and tight seats on the A330-300 and B767s that have not had the Delta One suite upgrade. American’s Premium Economy seat is the same one you will find on DL and UA. As someone who flew AA at high levels until the pandemic, operationally, I’ve found AA to be reliable, planes very clean, and crew, like every other airline, hit and miss. I’ll happily fly out of T8 at JFK and avoid the cheek to jowl crowding at T4, it’s endless walks between gates, and Delta’s sagging, aging 767s and 757s on the majority of routes it flies out of JFK. Yes, DL invested heavily in NYC and largely won it, at huge expense and cost, and it wasn’t profitable for them until a few years ago. The dynamics though are changing with COVID and Delta could see a good amount of its market share slip as the industry recalibrates. Also, AS is joining OW, so that’s significant, and B6 offers a domestic product that far eclipses what DL and AA can offer, so there’s that too.

  22. Well Shoeguy, I can’t agree with anything you’re saying and for the record, I’ve clocked in nearly 750k miles on AA so, I can attest that I’ve flown them.

    As for whether I know what I’m speaking about, perhaps you can review industry metrics for the past several years including reliability and consumer complaints and educate yourself so you’ll know what you’re speaking about.

  23. Should be a nice opportunity for double dipping the $25 Aviator Silver in-flight food/beverage credit 🙂

  24. @Dan , there are a lot of reports, including from AA executives, that the PHL-TLV route lost a lot of money. It may have been profitable when it was flown by US, but even at PHL, the operational costs under AA have gone up. AA’s cost structure, unlike US’ was, is not reflective of a LCC operation.

    I would guess it’s not impossible they bring PHL-TLV back at some point in the future, but JFK-TLV probably makes sense for now, given the sheer volume of traffic on the route. I imagine AA’s crunched the numbers and determined that the O&D, somewhat limited feed on AA metal, and feed on B6, combined gives them a greater chance at breaking even and eventually turning a profit compared to PHL, despite its lower costs.

    Low operating costs aren’t everything, or else we’d see CLT-TLV. DFW has the good fortune of being a huge catchment area, with demand between the two markets, the ability to connect other sizable markets, and massive economies of scale that none of the other hubs can match.

    Excited for the JFK-TLV route, especially since I just booked a $1K ticket in PE for November and was immediately able to apply a SWU!

  25. I would imagine that AA loyalists will prefer AA to TLV

    AA will be very very competitive in this market. The market is huge and never ending! Jews have a ton of money, dress well, and looooove to hop back and forth to the USA and Europe. People on here forget that many passengers from TLV to NYC and across the USA use BA, LH, AF and others connecting through their UK and Euro hubs. AA will grab a ton of Oneworld business.

    I also know many people who would prefer NOT to fly on El Al for obvious and not so obvious reasons. Ok, and I’m not afraid of being called antisemitic on here, which would be false) – and it’s one of the dumbest things. My boyfriend is a Jew.

    It’s no different than Indian’s refusing to fly Air India, and preferring to take UA, and the upcoming AA flights. I know MANY! Brits hating BA, it goes on and on….

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