MIAMI – In November of this year, El Al Israel Airlines (LY/ELY) will once again begin nonstop service between Tel Aviv (TLV) and Miami (MIA). El Al will be relaunching service to Miami with three flights weekly, using a 279-seat Boeing 777-200ER’s, providing South Florida’s only nonstop flight to Israel. Tickets are already on sale for the service, subject to government approval.
Miami will be El Al’s sixth North American destination, which already includes nonstop links from Tel Aviv to New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Los Angeles (LAX), Boston (BOS), and Toronto (YYZ).
El Al has a rich history with Miami; they served the airport between 2002 and 2008 with various aircraft, including the 747-400 and the 777-200ER, which both operated to Miami with a stop in Newark in both directions. During the low seasons, the EWR-MIA-EWR leg was operated by the now defunct North American Airlines with a 737-800 or 757-200.
In March 2006, El Al launched nonstop service to Miami from TLV using the Boeing 767-200ER. At the time, the flight was the longest 767 flight in the world. The flight operated until August 31, 2008, when El Al Flight 108 (inbound Flight 107) made its final journey from Miami to TLV, amidst economic downturn and rising fuel costs.
El Al had also flown cargo to Miami as far back as the 1980’s with dedicated 747-200 freighters.
“This is a new El Al from when we last were in Miami. This new route will offer Israelis flying to Miami and Latin America via connections and for those who wish to visit Israel from Miami, the only nonstop flights between Tel Aviv and Miami,” said El Al President and CEO, David Maimon, at a Miami Beach press conference on Friday.
The service will initially operate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, with the 777-200ER. “We will adjust the aircraft type and schedule as necessary depending on demand over time,” Maimon remarked.
Attendants at Fridays’ press conference were: Congresswomen, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; the Miami-Dade County, Mayor Carlos Gimenez; the City of Miami Beach Mayor, Phillip Levine, and the Consul General of Israel in Miami, Lior Haiat.
“Miami-Dade County is proud to welcome El Al back to our community, and to be the only Southeast U.S. city with nonstop service to Tel Aviv,” said the Miami-Dade County Mayor, Carlos Gimenez.
Tel Aviv is South Florida’s third link to the Middle East, which includes Qatar Airways, with its Miami-Doha service, and Emirates, with its Ft. Lauderdale-Dubai service, both using a Boeing 777 aircraft.
“A nonstop link to Israel with El Al has been our goal ever since service ended because of its unique and historically significant global location, and because of its deep cultural ties with Miami, the gateway to Latin America,” remarked the Miami-Dade Aviation Director, Emilio T. González.
El Al is offering introductory fares of $999 for tickets, which have been on sale since May. Airways eagerly await the arrival of the first Boeing 777 nonstop from Tel Aviv in Winter 2017.