Following El Al Israel Airlines Ltd.'s (TASE: ELAL) launching of direct flights from Tel Aviv to Boston, United Airlines today announced a new direct route from Tel Aviv to San Francisco.
While American Airlines is exiting the Israeli market (the company will end its flights from Tel Aviv to Philadelphia on January 4 for what it said were economic reasons), United Airlines is adding to its destinations in Israel. In addition to its 14 weekly flights to New York (two per day), the airline will also fly to San Francisco starting on April 1, 2016.
El Al has added three direct weekly flights to Boston to its 22 weekly flights to New York and five weekly flights to Los Angeles.
United will conduct three weekly flights to San Francisco using Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 passenger jets. This model, considered one of the world's most advanced, has 252 seats, including 48 in business class and 88 in upgraded tourist class. The plane also offers a satellite-based WiFi hookup and electrical sockets.
Flight UA955 will take off from Tel Aviv at 00:55 AM on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, and land in San Francisco at 6:00 AM of the same day. The UA954 return flight will take off from San Francisco at 8:00 PM on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, and land in Israel at 8:10 PM on the following day (all the times are for Israel).
Tickets for the new flights can be ordered starting on October 10, 2015. No ticket prices for the flights to San Francisco will be published before that time.
United Airlines Israel managing director Avi Friedman said that the opening of the new route was a result of demand. "This is a response to demand from customers, especially businessmen and high-tech people, for direct flights to one of the most popular business and tourist destinations in the US," he stated.
According to Friedman, thousands of the company's customers signed a petition in support of this direct service. "There is a substantial flow of passengers from the high-tech industry flying from Israel to companies operating in Silicon Valley and other locations in the San Francisco Bay area," he said.
US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro also spoke about the new route, saying, "This is really great news. The new route will continue and improve commercial, cultural, and personal relations between the US and Israel. These flights will serve technological cooperation between US West Coast high-tech companies and the startup community here in Israel, and facilitate personal involvement between Israelis and Americans. I wish them good luck," he remarked.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 8, 2015
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