United Airlines has resumed service to Israel after UA90 form Newark to Tel Aviv took off just after dusk on Friday evening. Service from Chicago and San Francisco will resume this weekend.
United Airlines Resumes Israel Service After Cease Fire Reached
On Thursday, Israelis and Palestinians reached a cease fire agreement, bringing an immediate end to an 11-day war between neighbors that left over 250 people dead. Although violent skirmishes continue on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, United has become the first U.S. carrier to resume service to Israel after a temporary suspension. United told employees:
Last week, security concerns amid heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions caused widespread disruptions throughout Israel, prompting U.S. airlines to cancel flights between the U.S. and TLV (Tel Aviv). On Thursday, after more than a week of conflict, Israel and Hamas reached a ceasefire agreement, ending an 11-day streak of violence that has taken hundreds of lives and caused widespread destruction.
As the ceasefire holds, with the guidance of U.S. and Israeli officials, we are resuming our operations to TLV, starting with Flight UA 90 EWR-TLV Friday evening – making us the first carrier to resume service to Israel. Our service between TLV and ORD and SFO will resume on Sunday.
United was also the last U.S. carrier to suspend service to Israel, doing so on May 11th as hostilities increased. As late as May 10th, United had insisted it was safe to continue to operations:
United Airlines has no information to suggest any specific or immediate threat to our co-workers or operations in Israel. Flights to Tel Aviv are currently operating on schedule. Israeli authorities have devoted many resources to ensure that the airport remains secure and operational. Flights from Ben Gurion Airport (LLBG/TLV) have been diverted away from the Gaza Strip, while several roads near the Gaza Strip, including sections of Route 4 and Route 34, are temporarily closed.
It did, however, warn flight crews that regular air raid drills should be expected and that both Ben Gurion Airport and the crew hotel have bomb shelters.
With a ceasefire now in effect, United Airlines has resumed service to Israel. Delta also resumed service last night while American Airlines will resume service on Monday.