Delta resuming Israel flights from New York, no word yet on Atlanta

Ben Gurion International airport on Aug. 29, 2023. Photo by Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90.

Delta Airlines announced on March 13 that it will resume daily flights to Tel Aviv from New York in June.

The announcement comes one week after rival United Airlines became the first American carrier to renew service to Tel Aviv since the Hamas terrorist attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

The Atlanta-based Delta will restart nonstop service to Tel Aviv from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on June 7 “following an extensive security assessment,” the airline said in a statement.

The Israel Airports Authority had previously said that Delta would resume flights on May 1, but the airline’s statement said that was being delayed and those who were booked on flights before June 7 will be notified. The airline recently launched a codeshare agreement with Israeli carrier El Al.

United, which used to offer the most flights to Israel of any American carrier as the U.S. airline with the largest international service, is currently operating only one daytime flight between its hub at Newark International Airport and Tel Aviv, but will extend this to two flights in the future. The Chicago-based carrier said it does not plan to restart flights from additional U.S. cities until at least the fall.

There has not been an announcement regarding resumption of the recently-inaugurated direct flights on Delta from Atlanta to Tel Aviv. Itineraries from Atlanta for this summer show a stop in either New York or Paris.

Dallas-based American Airlines has halted flights on its lone route from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport to Tel Aviv until Oct. 28, and will be the last of the U.S. legacy carriers to resume service to Israel.

El Al was the only airline to maintain service to the United States throughout the war.

U.S. lawmakers and Israeli government officials had urged the American carriers to resume the flights to Israel “as soon as possible.”

The United States topped the list for tourists to Israel last year.

Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) and Austrian Airlines were among the first major foreign carriers to resume flights to Ben-Gurion International Airport. Notably, airlines from the United Arab Emirates maintained service to Israel throughout the war.

El Al has won national and international plaudits for its continuing wartime service, as well as its recent offer of free flights to European destinations for Israeli soldiers. However, with the limited service across the Atlantic, the price of round-trip economy airfare between Israel and America skyrocketed to more than $1,500 this winter, almost double the normal low-season price. The renewed competition on the popular New York line is expected to lower prices for flights on the route.

JNS and staff reports