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Delta and United Airlines Resuming Flights to Tel Aviv This Month After ‘Extensive’ Security Risk Assessments

Delta and United Airlines Resuming Flights to Tel Aviv This Month After ‘Extensive’ Security Risk Assessments

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Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are both set to resume flights to Tel Aviv later this month, with the Atlanta-based carrier saying that it had come to the conclusion that it was safe to have crew stay overnight in Israel after conducting an “extensive security risk assessment”.

For Delta, this will be the first time that the airline has returned to Israel after hastily suspending services to the Middle Eastern commercial hub in October 2023 following the large-scale Hamas terror attack that destabilized the region.

Meanwhile, this will be United’s second attempt at relaunching direct non-stop flights to Israel after resuming services from Newark in April, only for the threat assessment to quickly change when Iran launched a massive missile and drone attack on the country.

Delta will use an Airbus A330neo aircraft for its daily service between New York JFK and Tel Aviv, which is set to resume on June 7. The airline will have pilots and flight attendants stay overnight in Israel, but the airline says it “continues to closely monitor the situation in Israel in conjunction with government and private-sector partners.”

Delta’s joint venture partner, Virgin Atlantic, also announced its intention to relaunch non-stop flights between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv from October 5. Both Delta and Virgin Atlantic will be codesharing with Israeli flag carrier El Al to open up even more seats.

United will resume its non-stop service to Tel Aviv one day earlier, and by late June, the carrier intends to launch a second daily flight between Newark and Tel Aviv.

Delta and United Airlines had preferred to stay clear of Israel if it wasn’t possible to operate non-stop flights to the country. The alternative would be to find a third country in which to swap crew over so that pilots and flight attendants didn’t have to stay overnight in Israel.

That option would, however, have added complexity and cost to the operation while handing El Al a significant competitive advantage as the only airline operating non-stop flights between the US and Israel.

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