American Airlines has wiped Tel Aviv from its route network until at least October 2024, the latest publicly available scheduling data from the airline has revealed.
The Dallas Fort Worth-based carrier quickly suspended flights to the city after Hamas launched a terror atrocity on Southern Israel on October 7, 2023, and it now looks like American Airlines could be absent from Tel Aviv for at least 12 months.
Data published by Cirium suggests American Airlines now doesn’t intend to return to Israel until October 26, with daily departures from New York JFK resuming on October 28 through January 2025.
The timetable is, however, still subject to change and may well depend on the security situation nearer to the time.
In the meantime, the only Oneworld alliance airline set to operate flights to Tel Aviv over the summer is British Airways, but that flight will be operated on a short-haul configured Airbus A321 with a stopover in Larnaca, Cyprus.
The normal five-hour flight time from London Heathrow will be extended to six and a half hours due to the short technical stop in Larnaca, where a new set of crew will board the aircraft to operate the short hop to Tel Aviv.
One of the main reasons why American Airlines isn’t yet ready to return to Tel Aviv is the threat posed to pilots and flight attendants laying-over in the city due to the continuing threat of rocket attacks from Gaza.
There are rumors that United Airlines could be preparing to make a return to Tel Aviv this summer, but the rival Star Alliance member will also need to find somewhere to stopover in order to conduct a crew change so that staffers don’t have to get off the plane in Tel Aviv.
One of the most likely options available to United if it chooses to resume flights to Tel Aviv is the Greek capital, Athens.
Last year, the union which represents pilots at American Airlines told its members to refuse to fly to Tel Aviv until it could be “reasonably assured of the region’s safety and security”.
A number of European airlines have, however, already resumed flights to Israel after the European Air Safety Agency (EASA) gave the green light. Airlines now flying to Tel Aviv include Lufthansa and Ryanair, as well as Air France and Wizz Air.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.