Delta Confirms JFK to Israel Route Will Return – But With A Delay

Skift Take

Delta’s decision will soon leave American Airlines as the only U.S. carrier not to have returned to the Israeli market.

Delta Air Lines is returning to Israel – but not quite as quickly as expected.

The carrier will resume its nonstop daily service between New York JFK and Tel Aviv from June 7. Delta had previously said it would reinstate the link from May 1. 

The company said the decision was taken “after an extensive security risk assessment,” adding that it “continues to closely monitor the situation in Israel.”

In line with most other international carriers, Delta halted all flights to Tel Aviv after the start of the Israel-Gaza war in early October 2023. 

United Airlines is currently the only U.S. airline to have returned to Israel. The company resumed flights from Newark to Tel Aviv in early March with a daily service. It said the decision followed “a detailed safety analysis.” 

Before the escalation of the conflict, United served Tel Aviv from Chicago, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. It is unclear when these services will resume.

American Airlines has taken a rather different approach. Last month the carrier confirmed to Skift that operations to and from Tel Aviv will remain suspended until October 26.

Delta Looks For Alternatives

To compensate for the suspension of nonstop flights, in recent months Delta has bolstered its partnership with EL AL. The pair signed a codeshare arrangement to allow Delta passengers to connect to the Israeli flag carrier’s services from U.S. cities including Boston, Los Angeles, and Miami.

It is understood that the deal will be maintained even after Delta resumes flights to Israel. 

When Delta eventually returns to Tel Aviv, it is placing one of its newest jets on the route. The A330-900 is the latest generation version of Airbus’ best-selling A330 range. The plane can carry 281 passengers with 29 Delta One Suites, 28 Premium Select seats, 56 Comfort+ options, and 168 in the Main Cabin. 

With a flight time of 11 hours on the outbound New York to Tel Aviv sector and just over 12 hours on the return, Delta’s premium options are likely to prove popular.

Confirming the five-week delay for the return of the route, Delta said customers booked on flights before June 7 will be notified and offered options via alternative services.

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