At the moment EL AL is refreshing their fleet thanks to the nine Boeing 787-9s that they’re taking delivery of, which are replacing their aging 747s. This is allowing the airline some expansion opportunities, and is also greatly improving their product. I flew EL AL’s 787 business class from Newark to Tel Aviv last year, and had an excellent flight.
The airline has now announced a new destination altogether, and also confirmed the launch of a route that has been in the works for a long time.
EL AL launching flights to Las Vegas
Okay, this truly isn’t what I was expecting. EL AL will be launching once weekly nonstop flights between Tel Aviv and Las Vegas as of June 14, 2019.
The new route will operate with the following schedule:
Fridays: Tel Aviv to Las Vegas departing 7:00AM arriving 11:15AM
Saturdays: Las Vegas to Tel Aviv departing 11:45PM arriving 10:15PM (+1 day)
Israel’s ministry of tourism is providing a €250,000 grant to an airline that starts a nonstop flight to a destination not currently served from Israel, so I imagine that’s a positive motivating factor here (though that amount of money only goes so far when we’re talking about operating a ~7,400 mile flight).
EL AL’s other US destinations include Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York JFK, Newark, and soon, San Francisco.
I’m sure EL AL has their logic here, though on the surface this seems really odd to me:
- In terms of destinations with the most demand from Israel, you’d think there would be cities higher on the list, like Chicago
- Las Vegas isn’t a destination that was previously that hard to get to
- I get a once weekly flight to a secluded island, or something, but Las Vegas doesn’t seem like a destination to which you’d offer that sort of frequency
So yeah, this one is a real head-scratcher to me, and I’m curious to see how this flight performs.
Some might say “well people can fly into Las Vegas and out of another gateway,” and while that’s true, that typically doesn’t line up with the patterns with how people shop for flights. Most people book roundtrip tickets, because for the most part online booking tools don’t make it as easy to book open jaw tickets.
EL AL also confirms San Francisco launch
In January EL AL announced that they’d launch flights between Tel Aviv and San Francisco. The flight was supposed to launch in December 2018, though that ended up being pushed back.
Well, the new launch date for the route has now been revealed. EL AL will launch their 3x weekly nonstop flight between Tel Aviv and San Francisco as of May 13, 2019.
I’m happy to see EL AL finally launch their route to San Francisco. United seems to do well on the San Francisco route, and I imagine there’s room for another player in the market.
The once weekly flight between Las Vegas and Tel Aviv is a real oddball, though, and I’m curious to see how it performs.
What do you make of EL AL’s new flight to Las Vegas?
(Tip of the hat to Micah)