UPDATE: United Airlines will NOT resume service to Israel on November 24, 2023 as earlier reported. Initial reports, blamed on a public relations agency contracted by United, were incorrect. A United spokesperson told Live And Let’s Fly:
Our Tel Aviv flights will remain suspended until conditions allow them to resume.
The original story is below.
Per Reuters, United Airlines has confirmed it will resume service to Israel on November 24, becoming the US first carrier to officially declare resumption of Tel Aviv flights.
United Airlines Plans To Resume Israel Flights This Month
When war broke out last month after Hamas terrorists invaded Israel and killed over 1,400 civilians, US carriers quickly suspended service to Israel. Within a day, Hamas had fired over 4,000 rockets toward Israel, with targets including Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. While Israel’s Iron Dome System was able to repel many of the incoming rockets, the uncertainty of the situation moved carriers from around the world to suspend flights.
For the last several weeks, Israeli flag carrier El Al has been one of the only carriers flying to and from Israel (and even operated over Sabbath during this unique time). But as the war enters what could be an extended group phase in the Gaza Strip, United Airlines announced that it will resume service to Tel Aviv in 11 days.
At first, United will only fly between Newark (EWR) and Tel Aviv (TLV). Over time, it plans to bring other flights back.
Delta may resume flights even sooner: its New York (JFK) to TLV flight is scheduled to resume on November 21st. But the carrier has not officially confirmed whether flights will resume and has moved back its scheduled resumption date at several points since the latest conflict began.
Per its schedule, American Airlines will resume Tel Aviv flights on December 4, 2023 but has similarly not made an official announcements.
The news come one month after US lawmakers pressured US carriers to resume carriers to resume service to Israel “as quickly as possible” just a week after the conflict began and offered unspecified assistance to do so.
United Airlines will resume Tel Aviv flights on November 24, with Delta and American likely to allow (and Delta potentially resuming flights even sooner). Union pilot representatives at the “Big Three” US carriers have not publicly addressed the resumption of such service, but their cooperation will be necessary in order for these flights to take off.