American Airlines’ Tel Aviv Flight Now On Sale

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).

American Airlines’ Tel Aviv Flight Now On Sale

We’ve known all along that American plans on launching flights between Dallas and Tel Aviv as of September 9, 2020. American Airlines opens up their schedule 331 days in advance, so up until now the flight hasn’t been on sale since the schedule hasn’t gone out that far.

Well, American Airlines’ flight to Tel Aviv is now finally on sale. So far only one roundtrip is on sale, given that September 10, 2020, is 331 days from today.

This means that we finally know the schedule with which American will operate this flight to Tel Aviv.

American Airlines’ Dallas to Tel Aviv flight will operate 3x weekly with the following schedule (update: American will operate the route daily in winter 2020):

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)

The ~7,000 mile flight will operate eastbound on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and westbound on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The eastbound flight time is 12hr50min, while the westbound flight time is 15hr.

If they are only going to offer 3x weekly flights, I’m surprised that they’d operate one of the eastbound flights on a Friday, which coincides with the Sabbath (EL AL grounds all flights from Friday night until Saturday night).

American will use a 787-9 for the flight, featuring 30 business class seats, 21 premium economy seats, and 234 economy seats.

American 787-9 business class

While the flight is now officially on sale, as of now only full fare classes are bookable, so I would expect a lot more inventory will be added soon. After all, so far only a single roundtrip flight is on sale, based on the schedule.

Bottom Line

It’s cool to see American Airlines finally making a return to Israel, and to see their first Dallas to Tel Aviv flight on sale. I’m a bit surprised to see it quietly added to the schedule like this, rather than them only adding it in a month or so, and then making a big splash about it.

It will be interesting to see how this route performs, and if they grow their presence in Israel over time.

(Tip of the hat to @xJonNYC)

  1. Why surprised with the Shabbat flight? I guess you’d have to think that the majority of ticket revenue are purchased by observant Jews as opposed to Jews who are OK flying on Shabbat. I’m not being critical. I actually think flying on Fridays is a good decision. It fills a gap for Jews who are fine flying on Shabbat as well as non-Jews.

  2. Interesting choice of gateway from AA – yes, DFW is a major hub for AA connections and it makes sense not to go head-to-head with El Al out of New York, Chicago or LA (especially given their code-share arrangements with El AL) – but AA are surely running this out of DFW for the connection opportunities rather than local market (?), so where do they think the connections will come from? It won’t be from NYC or the nearby East Coast (why would you back-track to DFW rather than fly from NYC (including connecting through Europe on BA/LH etc)?); it likely won’t be from LA given the El Al direct flight…so where are the connection opportunities through DFW? Perhaps from outside the US?

  3. Wouldn’t PHL-TLV have made more sense? You can’t get much domestic connecting traffic to TLV via DFW because it’s so far south (and, to a lesser extent, west). And DFW isn’t quite like LAX or SFO as far as having that big of a Jewish population who would take such a flight on a regular basis. Thus it doesn’t seem like a strategically wise hub from which to base your one nonstop to Israel.

  4. Flying on Friday/Saturday is genius. Fills a huge gap for people that couldn’t care less about the Sabbath but are otherwise forced to avoid travel because of El Al being grounded.

  5. AA missed a huge opportunity in the NYC-TLV market. UA and DL used to operate this route daily, but both now operate 2X daily flights year-round. JFK-TLV was a cash cow route for TWA. Even with choosing DFW to maximize connections, AA should be more aggressive in starting this route than just 3X per week. Their PHL-TLV flights ran daily.

  6. @Ben, yes DFW is a superhub for AA. However, look at the geography for this particular flight. For the majority of the US population, connecting through DFW takes you in the wrong direction for a trip to Israel. That means longer flight time, more hassle, etc. DFW is a fine airport and it’s a great hub alternative to the horrible MIA for flights to Latin America; but it’s not a great jumping off point for TLV. PHL or even ORD would have been more logical. In the old days, JFK would have been the obvious choice, but AA basically torched that base.

  7. As a Middle East expert this route should be suspended. American pilots should not fly to the Middle East post 9/11 due to a history of hostility in the region , terrorist activity , and hijackings.

  8. Glad to see American finally launching this overdue route. They really should have launched from Chicago or PHL. The east coast market for service to Tel Aviv is expanding and large with business and tourism expanding in Israel.

    United flies to TLV 3/4x daily from both coasts and Delta has now increased to 2x daily, meanwhile American can’t even support 1 daily flight.

  9. The Shabbat flight thing is actually great timing for people who don’t mind flying on Shabbat, since it arrives Saturday at after 7pm (after sunset). As such, by the time you’re out of the airport, bus/train/taxi service have all resumed. Similarly the Saturday return flight departs at 10pm, so well after Shabbat has ended.

  10. Flying on Friday makes a lot of sense: it gets business travelers there in time for Sunday’s start of the work week *and* there is less competition due to LY not operating. Thursday 11pm departure back to US is also going to be packed, as it gets business travelers home before the weekend.

    OW travelers have few options for getting to TLV from the US. Most are forced to connect in LHR (yikes) or spend a day in MAD. This will attract passengers from a far wider area than the Southwestern US.

  11. LOL all the people talking about how people won’t “backtrack”. Only the obsessives that comment on travel websites care about that. How do you think AA fills up all their Europe flights at DFW?

  12. Although daily service would be better. I don’t feel the Sabbath issue is a problem on this route. I’m sure there are Jews that might avoid it but for non-Jews, it arrived at a good time and much earlier in the evening than many connecting flights from Europe.

    I would add the @Ben L. mentions Evangelical Christians in his comment. At first, I thought this was a narrow comment as all Christians, Jews, Bahia, and Muslims might take this route but the DFW area does have a large number of Evangelical Christians so that does make sense. In the end, this is a large AA hub and will work well from most areas of the USA. I bet this route will expand over time to daily flights.

  13. Sam is 100 percent correct, I don’t understand why AA didn’t opt for nyc-tlv. What do ppl mean AA didn’t want to “take on El Al”? There is alot of misperception. Most travellers do not opt for ElAl. We personally switched from ElAl to Delta which is our preferred choice on the JFK-TLV route. Delta skymiles don’t expire and we found them better priced as well. Too bad AA didn’t opt for nyc-tlv. Competition is good for the consumer.

  14. Since the route starts in an election year, let’s look at it this way. The states of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah have 90 of the 535 electoral votes, or about 17%. You don’t think that’s a big enough market to fill one plane three times a week?

  15. Plenty of Americans go to Israel for pilgrimage. I think it’s safe to say that AA is targeting this demographic.

  16. For Aviator Silver cardholders flying economy on this flight, perfect timing to double-dip the daily $25 food and beverage credit each direction!

  17. The Israeli tourism minister was quoted as saying AA chose DFW for this route to capture connections coming from Mexico and Central America. These flyers have to go through LA or NYC right now to fly to Israel.

  18. US Airways had a daily out of Philly and it was always full. Many, many people in Jersey drove down to Philly just to avoid the NYC airports for this flight. Israel even opened a consulate in Philly. Lots of New Yorkers with Jewish background are moving to Philly, too. Really don’t understand this move by AA.

  19. AA only theoretically opens the award schedule 331 (or 330) days out. I kept getting error messages last time I tried domestic QF awards through AA, notwithstanding that QF’s website was showing award availability (which it starts showing at 365 days out). But it finally worked fine 329 days out.

  20. The AA price looks very high but the date is just before rosh ha shana 2020 when many folks from around the world travel to Israel.

    Also this shows one way: you can not add a return date as the information has not yet posted and this could change the pricing dynamics.

    I went el al MIA-TLV round trip in mid february for about $1050 and was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it was with the new 787.
    There was adequate legroom, the seats had a surprisingly good recline, and the plane was so quiet that I slept about 5 hours.
    You would have to be a “fryah” if you pay the AA fare and do not consider options.

  21. Why not Charlotte to Israel???? AA totally tries to omit Charlotte in everything. They board more passengers in Charlotte than any of their other hubs.

  22. Hi – I’m looking at flights for next December. The article says it will fly 7 days/week by then. However, I cannot find a flight on 12/24/20 or even 12/23. Thoughts? Help? Thanks.

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