United to Launch Direct Flights Between Israel and Washington D.C.

The new route is expected to launch next May, operating non-stop flights three times a week

A United Airlines' Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner plane landing.
Toru Hanai/ Reuters

United Airlines said it would launching a nonstop flight between Washington and Tel Aviv starting May 22, 2019, subject to government approval, becoming the first U.S. carrier with direct flights between the two cities.

United said the flights to Washington will leave Ben-Gurion International Airport at 12:20 A.M. Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays, arriving at Dulles International Airport at 5:50 A.M. local time the same day. Flights out of Washington will depart Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 10:30 P.M., arriving in Tel Aviv at 4:30 P.M. the following day.

Israeli aviation industry sources speculated that the American carrier was launching the new route in response to El Al’s plan to begin service between Tel Aviv and San Francisco next May. The route is one of three United now operates between Israel and the United States, including twice-daily service between New York/Newark and Tel Aviv and daily nonstop service between San Francisco and Tel Aviv.

Because it is opening a new route, United will be entitled to a one-time grant from Israel’s Tourism Ministry of 250,000 euros ($290,000) for each weekly flight.