This coming Friday, the first direct flight from Tel Aviv to San Francisco will take off, thereby inaugurating a new thrice-weekly route by United Airlines using Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 passenger jets with 252 seats, including 48 in business class.
The flights will take off from Tel Aviv at 1:00 AM on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, and land in San Francisco at 6:00 AM of the same day. Return flights will take off from San Francisco's advanced airport at 8:00 PM on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, and land in Israel at 8:00 PM on the following day (all the times are for Israel). The westerly flights will take 15 hours and the easterly flights 14 hours.
"The alternatives currently available to flyers from Tel Aviv to San Francisco are 20-27-hour flights with a connection via Europe or the US," said United Airlines Israel managing director Avi Friedman. "The route we are launching is a competitive declaration with an emphasis on the flight time and convenient flight hours in both directions."
Ticket prices will be from $1,000 for tourist class and $5,000 for business class.
United Airlines operates flights from its home port of San Francisco to 90 destinations in the Western hemisphere and Asia. The main target market for these flights is businessmen - mainly, but not exclusively, in high-tech - but gamblers can also continue to Las Vegas on flights from San Francisco taking off every 30 minutes.
Today's official launch was attended by United Airlines senior VP worldwide sales David Hilfman, who praised Friedman for his initiative. "Our product includes the most modern planes and the most advanced service in the air and on the ground, and offers proper value for the price. Those flying in higher class seats are also looking for a worthwhile price, and that's what we're offering," he said. "Like the other airlines on these routes, our main market is businessmen, but not exclusively - vacationers traveling to California are certainly another target audience."
Hilfman complimented the Israeli market, saying, "It's a strong market that demonstrates resilience in economically tough times."
United Airlines has been operating in Israel since 1999, formerly under the Continental Airlines brand name, before that was merged with United Airlines in 2010. The company's Tel Aviv branch has 44 employees. Friedman has headed the branch since it was founded. In addition to the San Francisco route, the company operates flights to New York twice a day. United Airlines and related airline United Express operate 5,000 flights daily on six continents through 342 airports.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 30, 2016
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