El Al Israel Airlines announced on Wednesday that it will be launching nonstop flights between Tel Aviv and Miami in November, adding a fifth metropolitan area in North America for the Israeli flagship carrier. El Al will operate three weekly flights to Miami with Boeing 777-200 aircraft, it said.
“This decision is part ... of the strategy in which we recognized the importance of the trans-Atlantic routes and our desire to expand El Al’s presence in North America,” said David Maimon, El Al’s chief executive. Tickets on the new route will go on sale in the middle of this month, subject to government approval, El Al said in a statement.
The Israeli flagship carrier already flies nonstop to Kennedy International Airport and Newark airport in the New York area as well as to Los Angeles, Boston and Toronto. Looking to bolster its aging long-haul fleet of Boeing 767s, 747s and 777s, El Al is spending $1.25 billion on 15 new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which will start to be delivered to the company later this year.
The airline had previously served Miami before cancelling Tel Aviv-Miami service in 2008, the Miami Herald noted, adding: “The return of the route is a major win for the [Miami] airport, which has been in talks with the airline since at least February 2016, when El Al officials visited [Miami International Airport].”
“Tel Aviv has always been one of our top strategic targets because of its unique and historically significant global location, and because of its deep cultural ties with Miami,” Miami-Dade County aviation director Emilio Gonzalez said in a statement that made apparent reference to the large Jewish community in South Florida.
Tel Aviv will become the third Middle Eastern destination served in the Miami area, the Herald noted, after Qatar Airways inaugurated service to Miami in 2014 from the Qatari airport in Doha and after Emirates Airlines began service to Fort Lauderdale, just north of Miami, in December of last year on a route to and from Dubai.
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