Delta Adds Atlanta To Tel Aviv Flights As Of March 2023

Delta Adds Atlanta To Tel Aviv Flights As Of March 2023

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A few weeks ago, Delta revealed three exciting new international routes. In addition to adding flights from Atlanta to Cape Town and Los Angeles to Tahiti, the airline also announced plans to add flights to Tel Aviv from a third gateway in the United States.

It seems that this route has proven popular with customers before even launching, so Delta is now moving forward the launch date for this service by several weeks.

Details of Delta’s Atlanta to Tel Aviv route

As of March 26, 2023, Delta will launch a 3x weekly flight between Atlanta (ATL) and Tel Aviv (TLV). Initially the route was supposed to launch on May 10, 2023, so it was moved forward by quite a bit of time. The flight will operate with the following schedule:

Atlanta to Tel Aviv departing 2:00PM arriving 9:15AM (+1 day)
Tel Aviv to Atlanta departing 11:30AM arriving 5:55PM

The 6,473-mile flight will operate eastbound on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, and westbound on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The flight is blocked at 12hr15min eastbound and 13hr25min westbound.

That’s an interesting schedule, by the way — most flights from the United States to Tel Aviv depart late at night and arrive the following evening, while most flights in the other direction are redeyes. In this case we’re seeing an earlier departure from the United States, and a daytime return from Israel. People will no doubt have mixed opinions on that schedule.

Delta will use an Airbus A350-900 for the Tel Aviv route. However, based on the current schedule, the airline won’t use one of its “standard” A350s. Rather the airline will use an A350 acquired from LATAM, which features an inferior inflight experience:

  • Delta One (business class) on these planes is in a 2-2-2 configuration, rather than the typical suites with doors, which are in a 1-2-1 configuration
  • There’s no Premium Select (premium economy) on these planes

Anyway, that’s the current plan, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Delta put a standard A350 on this route if any more become available, as long haul flight scheduling is still pretty fluid.

Delta will fly an Airbus A350 from Atlanta to Tel Aviv

How this fits into Delta’s overall Tel Aviv service

Delta’s route from Atlanta to Tel Aviv complements Delta’s existing service from Boston and New York to Tel Aviv. This isn’t the first time that Delta has operated this route, as Delta last flew from Atlanta to Tel Aviv over a decade ago, in 2011.

While both Boston and New York no doubt have a lot more Israel demand than Atlanta, Atlanta has a lot more connectivity opportunities than the airports in the Northeast. Atlanta is Delta’s largest hub, so for many passengers this will open up one-stop service from the United States to Tel Aviv on Delta.

Tel Aviv is a competitive market among the “big three” US carriers. Initially United had by far the biggest presence there, but American and Delta have been catching up nicely:

  • United flies to Tel Aviv from Chicago, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington
  • American flies to Tel Aviv from Miami and New York
United is the strongest US airline in Israel

Bottom line

For the first time in over a decade, Delta will offer service between Atlanta and Tel Aviv. As of March 2023, the airline will fly 3x weekly in the market using an Airbus A350-900.

I imagine this route is primarily motivated by connecting traffic, and with 3x weekly service these planes should be easy enough to fill.

What do you make of Delta’s new Atlanta to Tel Aviv route?

Conversations (34)
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  1. Michael Guest

    As a business traveler this is a ridiculous flight schedule. I need to leave israel on Sunday, and get to Atlanta by Sunday night, or latest by Monday morning 7am. Then I need to get back to israel by Friday morning (leaving Atlanta by thursday night). This schedule achieves little to nothing for business people.

  2. Ben Feinshmecker Guest

    The re-introduction of this flight path of yore is most definitely a welcome move. Back in the day, I loved this flight for the connection value. However, as mentioned in the article, the current mid-day schedule burns a day of travel as opposed to the red eye option. With this being the case, I would have to pass on this current schedule. I would love if Delta would change to the more practical red-eye to accommodate the business travelers as well.

  3. CJ Clipperton Guest

    Very happy with the news!!!

  4. Michael Johnson Guest

    I am very excited about the Atlanta to Tel Aviv route. I will be taking a ministry trip and I am so glad, I don't have to connect through New York. Beautiful nation and looking forward to my 2023 trip.

  5. Sf Guest

    I am thrilled that Delta is flying direct again to Israel. Going through JFK made the trip 2x as long taking us almost a full day to travel in each direction. With so many Jewish folks in Georgia and Christians in the southeast wanting to visit the holy land these flights will be full. Already thinking about planning our trip next year.

  6. Marcia Robkin Guest

    Fantastic. I've been waiting for this flight. So much easier for a senior especially not to have to make transfers
    Would really like to have it in time for Passover.

  7. Dan Guest

    The route will be operated by an ex-LATAM A350 (A35L), so unless Delta’s changes the cabins, the passengers on board the 14-hour flight will not score D1 Suites…

  8. Fed UP Guest

    can you imagine being on that flight

    1. KK13 Gold

      Yes, I can.
      I have taken quite a few El Al flights and there were many kids visiting Israel through the birthright program.

      Guess what? They were hundred times more well behaved than the American kids. Didn't wear wife beaters, ass-peeping sorts, or show their armpits. Not that I am trying to label all American kids, but you know what I mean.

      And I had a terrific conversation with my 19 yr...

      Yes, I can.
      I have taken quite a few El Al flights and there were many kids visiting Israel through the birthright program.

      Guess what? They were hundred times more well behaved than the American kids. Didn't wear wife beaters, ass-peeping sorts, or show their armpits. Not that I am trying to label all American kids, but you know what I mean.

      And I had a terrific conversation with my 19 yr old co-passenger, who was accepted to an Ivy league engineering schools and what he aspires to be.

      So, educate me again, what were you trying to say?

    2. Jason Guest

      What do you mean "the American kids"? Most of the people flying from the U.S. to Israel on Birthright are American kids. My cousins who have done it are all American, my friends are too. What exactly do you mean by that comment? They might be Jewish, but they are American, in that they're born here and raised here. Very strange comment.

  9. aaron - guest Guest

    BSD If they are counting on many religious travelers, having a flight on Friday/Saturday makes no sense. As this is the Jewish Sabbath and religious travelers won't fly on the Sabbath.
    I would think they would want to make a solid attempt to capture that market, and schedule flights for Sundays - Fridays.
    I suppose they will test the market and monitor customer response.

    1. Marcia Robkin Guest

      Yes I can imagine it. A good sleep with no transfers. These are week day flights

  10. Rik Guest

    Nice international expansion, with some big exceptions.

    China we can understand largely because of their Covid-19 issues, then there's India as well. The Russian airspace issue limits nonstop flight opportunities for now.

    This is controversial, but maybe it's time for Delta to partner with Emirates. Even Air Canada is doing it. Brings easier access to so many destinations.

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      It is doubtful that a partnership with Emirates would result in much if any profits for DL. Emirates would love to have more access to the US but there really isn't much for DL to gain.
      Air France and KLM have large international operations in the Eastern hemisphere and do serve S. Asia which is the biggest strength that EK has. Virgin Atlantic also flies to India and DL helps put passengers on those.

      It is doubtful that a partnership with Emirates would result in much if any profits for DL. Emirates would love to have more access to the US but there really isn't much for DL to gain.
      Air France and KLM have large international operations in the Eastern hemisphere and do serve S. Asia which is the biggest strength that EK has. Virgin Atlantic also flies to India and DL helps put passengers on those.
      Most EK destinations further east of S. Asia from the perspective of DXB are best served over the Pacific by a US carrier. The real question will be what DL does in East Asia as the region re-opens, DL now has a boatload of A330-900s and A350s that are well-suited for the Pacific and the Korean/Asiana merger/acquisition enters the final stage.

      It is good to see DL re-adding flights post covid; they clearly see opportunities for profits despite global recession fears.

      Also, Delta just opened their own new Sky Club at Tokyo Haneda. I suspect we will see more new service from Delta in Asia/Pacific next year and beyond.

    2. Rik Guest

      It's a question of whether one-stops via Western Europe will be competitive in the medium term, particularly for business travelers. I'd agree KL has strength in East Africa and the Gulf, whereas AF is strong in North and West Africa plus the Eastern Mediterranean.

      The Big Three US carriers made quite an effort to spotlight Gulf carrier subsidies, to little or no effect. Now at least AA is flying to DOH and seems to cooperate...

      It's a question of whether one-stops via Western Europe will be competitive in the medium term, particularly for business travelers. I'd agree KL has strength in East Africa and the Gulf, whereas AF is strong in North and West Africa plus the Eastern Mediterranean.

      The Big Three US carriers made quite an effort to spotlight Gulf carrier subsidies, to little or no effect. Now at least AA is flying to DOH and seems to cooperate with QR. The Gulf carriers can fill some holes that European carriers can't serve profitably. They can even be useful for East Coast to Southeast Asia.

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      I don't think there is any doubt that there is revenue to be had in S. Asia and the Middle East. The question is whether it can be profitably done given the current airspace restrictions over India.
      United is trying hard to hold onto what they have in India and might well be covering their costs given the longer flights and higher jet fuel prices.
      Delta was always more interested in Mumbai more...

      I don't think there is any doubt that there is revenue to be had in S. Asia and the Middle East. The question is whether it can be profitably done given the current airspace restrictions over India.
      United is trying hard to hold onto what they have in India and might well be covering their costs given the longer flights and higher jet fuel prices.
      Delta was always more interested in Mumbai more than Delhi and routes from the US to S. Asia go right over western Europe whose airlines are having to make much smaller adjustments to their routings.
      As for the Arab Middle East, DL and UA both flew to multiple destinations before so there is likely still opportunities. AA is focused on feeding QR by "wingtipping" a route that QR already operates. Let's see how well AA does and how long they last or if they fly a unique route to Doha instead.

      There is alot of opportunity for the US big 3 to restart and expand their international route systems. US airlines came through the pandemic better than airlines in other countries - partly because of government aid but also because the US domestic market was more open than in other parts of the world. I am hoping to see lots of new routes from all of the big 3 - and perhaps HA and others. TLV just happens to be a city where DL has done well and remained in since the Pan Am acquisition.

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Correction. …restrictions over Russia

    5. Power Guest

      I agree with you time will tell if AA's JFK-DOH route remains, I have my doubts that this route will still be flown 3 years from now.
      I think both Delta and United are in a great position with their current widebody fleet and future deliveries that we will see a lot of new international routes but I think a lot of it depends on how demand for travel from the US to China...

      I agree with you time will tell if AA's JFK-DOH route remains, I have my doubts that this route will still be flown 3 years from now.
      I think both Delta and United are in a great position with their current widebody fleet and future deliveries that we will see a lot of new international routes but I think a lot of it depends on how demand for travel from the US to China recovers starting in 2023. American on the other hand is in a completely different situation that United and Delta in that they must first rebuild their decimated widebody fleet which they decimated themselves by retiring aircraft that they should have simply stored in long term storage. Even with 787 deliveries slated to resume later this quarter American has fallen so far behind Delta and United in term the number of widebodies in their fleet that I'm not expecting much in the way new routes but more so trying to build what they lost especially to Europe and South America.

    6. JB Guest

      While there is a lot of revenue to be had in South Asia, Middle Eastern airlines are able to offer one stop connections from many points in the U.S. to many secondary and primary cities in S. Asia, and for a decent competitive price with top notch service. Therefore, U.S. airlines' flights to India are basically being filled with Americans and people flying non-stop between those city pairs that they fly (or people who have...

      While there is a lot of revenue to be had in South Asia, Middle Eastern airlines are able to offer one stop connections from many points in the U.S. to many secondary and primary cities in S. Asia, and for a decent competitive price with top notch service. Therefore, U.S. airlines' flights to India are basically being filled with Americans and people flying non-stop between those city pairs that they fly (or people who have UA/AA status). One unique route for a U.S. airline would be to fly nonstop to Pakistan. The demand is definitely present and no non-stop flight exists, which would be beneficial to many passengers. Maybe we could see United launch a flight from Newark to Islamabad. Or less likely Delta from JFK.
      I believe Islamabad's airport has been approved by U.S. authorities to have nonstop flights to the U.S..

  11. Alec Guest

    I assume this is the nail in the coffin for Dfw to tlv

    1. Leigh Guest

      Reasonable point....or a reason for AA to reconsider/expedite the route launch. Assumption, but so many of AA plans have been disrupted by the delivery delays of the 787...though not sure if it affected DFW-TLV.

  12. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Delta has had an afternoon departure from JFK to TLV and a morning return. This type of schedule - similar to what DL will offer from ATL - minimizes ground time in TLV. In the case of ATL-TLV, it maximizes ground time in ATL where the plane will likely rotate with the ATL-CPT flight.

    This route is a byproduct of DL's aggressive buying new generation widebodies including the used A350s. While those won't be used...

    Delta has had an afternoon departure from JFK to TLV and a morning return. This type of schedule - similar to what DL will offer from ATL - minimizes ground time in TLV. In the case of ATL-TLV, it maximizes ground time in ATL where the plane will likely rotate with the ATL-CPT flight.

    This route is a byproduct of DL's aggressive buying new generation widebodies including the used A350s. While those won't be used on any "premium" international routes, they do expand DL's abililty to add new international routes.

    1. JB Guest

      Delta has many A350 routes out of ATL, including to Paris, Amsterdam, Santiago, LAX, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Seoul, and more. So it could rotate with any of those flights.

  13. Sharon Guest

    With New York having such strong demand to Tel Aviv, it is somewhat of a surprise add. I’m glad to see the additional service, though suprised that delta did not first upgauage the JFK service.

    1. Power Guest

      Upgauge it to what? JFK-TLV already operates on a A330-900NEO. Also I think it is only a matter of time before Delta increases the frequency on their BOS-TLV flights to daily and perhaps within 2 years of launch I think ATL-TLV will go daily as well.

    2. tony Guest

      el al already operates in bos. wherever el al operates they sre boss such as miami where aa went down
      even in bos delta cut out for winter
      if anything delta will completely axe bos

  14. Ben Guest

    Still weird to me that AA ditched its PHL-TLV flight given the large Jewish population in the area, but suppose a bit overkill to have two flights relatively close to each other with the one at JFK, which essentially replaced the PHL one.

  15. Jon Guest

    Is there really demand for 108 weekly flights from the USA to Israel? If so is this demand new in the last few years or was it just previously underserved. If it’s new, what caused the increase in demand. If it was underserved, especially in a time when airlines are short on everything from planes to staff, why launch all these flights now.

    I’m thrilled to see all the growth in TLV for sure, it just doesn’t make much sense to me.

    1. EthaninSF Member

      NYC to TLV is nearly a bottomless pit of demand, due to the large VFR and/or religious traffic. Back in the day, 20+ years ago, TWA, Tower Air, and ELAL would all fill 747s full of people to TLV from JFK. At that time, that was the only non-stop route from the US. What has changed is that TLV has become more of a business destination, especially for the tech industry. Also, with the general...

      NYC to TLV is nearly a bottomless pit of demand, due to the large VFR and/or religious traffic. Back in the day, 20+ years ago, TWA, Tower Air, and ELAL would all fill 747s full of people to TLV from JFK. At that time, that was the only non-stop route from the US. What has changed is that TLV has become more of a business destination, especially for the tech industry. Also, with the general increase in travel and easing of restrictions, there is likely more demand. Connecting other markets over their megahubs makes sense for the domestic carriers over connecting them in NYC. But there has been some retrenchment given airline staffing, AA recently pulled the DFW - TLV route.

    2. Jon Guest

      @EthanInSF That all is true, but my question is still, in the last 5 years what has materially changed that supports the creation of all these flights? Everything you said was true 5 years ago as well

    3. EthaninSF Member

      @Jon - The biggest thing right now remains that China (and most of East Asia) remain closed, so air carriers are trying to see what markets can handle additional capacity. Israel was basically closed for the past two years, so quite a bit of pent up demand. I can't say if these routes are sustainable forever, though. I am also not certain if ELAL has fully restored service to all its markets in the US...

      @Jon - The biggest thing right now remains that China (and most of East Asia) remain closed, so air carriers are trying to see what markets can handle additional capacity. Israel was basically closed for the past two years, so quite a bit of pent up demand. I can't say if these routes are sustainable forever, though. I am also not certain if ELAL has fully restored service to all its markets in the US as well (plus they don't fly Friday night through Saturday). So, just like last summer, airlines are attempting to try a route and see what sticks. I think Delta is just trying to grab a bigger piece of the market while it can.

    4. David Guest

      Competition has driven the prices down quite significantly, making a trip to the US much more affordable.

    5. Sam Guest

      Birthright travel as well. There is a constant flow of Jewish children going to Israel for their free trip. The airlines get paid by the birthright organization

  16. Al Guest

    Ben, United has two daily flights from EWR. One Leaves at 11PM and leaves TLV at 11PM the following evening. The other flight though, leaves EWR at 4PM and returns the next day at 12PM. I would agree that most flights to/from TLV depart late night. But not all.

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Sf Guest

I am thrilled that Delta is flying direct again to Israel. Going through JFK made the trip 2x as long taking us almost a full day to travel in each direction. With so many Jewish folks in Georgia and Christians in the southeast wanting to visit the holy land these flights will be full. Already thinking about planning our trip next year.

2
Jason Guest

What do you mean "the American kids"? Most of the people flying from the U.S. to Israel on Birthright are American kids. My cousins who have done it are all American, my friends are too. What exactly do you mean by that comment? They might be Jewish, but they are American, in that they're born here and raised here. Very strange comment.

1
KK13 Gold

Yes, I can. I have taken quite a few El Al flights and there were many kids visiting Israel through the birthright program. Guess what? They were hundred times more well behaved than the American kids. Didn't wear wife beaters, ass-peeping sorts, or show their armpits. Not that I am trying to label all American kids, but you know what I mean. And I had a terrific conversation with my 19 yr old co-passenger, who was accepted to an Ivy league engineering schools and what he aspires to be. So, educate me again, what were you trying to say?

1
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