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El Al announced Wednesday that it had reached a code sharing agreement with American Airlines, which is expected to take effect in the first quarter of 2008.

Code sharing agreements allow airlines to sell tickets to flights operated by the other carrier.

The accord with American Airlines, which is considered to be the world's largest airline company, will provide El Al passengers with greater time and price flexibility, as they will be able to purchase itineraries through El Al that include connecting flights to the more than 20 U.S. destinations on American Airlines routes.

The agreement, which was approved by El Al's board of directors Tuesday, will replace El Al's current code sharing agreement with Delta Airlines. Delta Airlines canceled its cooperation with El Al, as it is set to launch its own direct flight between New York and Tel Aviv in March 2008.

The American Airlines fleet is comprised of approximately 1,000 aircraft, and the company controlled 17.8 percent of the market for North American flights in 2006. It flies to some 250 destinations in over 40 countries, with over 4,000 flights per day.