The world’s largest airline carrier will no longer fly to Israel.
American Airlines Inc. announced on Thursday, Aug. 20, that it will end its flights between the U.S. and Israel.
The reason for the cancellation was “strictly financial,” American spokesman Casey Norton told Bloomberg News.
American Airlines inherited the route between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv when it merged with US Airways in December 2013.
US Airways inaugurated the daily service to Israel in 2009. The American Airlines spokesperson said the airline lost $20 million on the route last year, and that it has never been profitable.
The trip of 5,740 miles was the longest of American’s flights. The route was serviced by a US Airways Airbus A330 aircraft, with seating for 252 passengers.
Service from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv is slated to end on Jan. 4. The last return flight to Philadelphia is scheduled for the next day.
But Philadelphia-area Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA-02) released a statement following the cancellation announcement of American Airlines.
Fattah said: “I am strongly opposed to the decision announced today by American Airlines to cancel this flight route. It is a critically important route, both for the constituents in my district who travel between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv, and also for the growing business relationship between our city and Israel. The effects of this decision will not only hurt tourism between our two countries, it will have a negative impact on our economies. The ease and accessibility offered by this flight had significant long-term potential to stimulate growth and communication.”
The Congressman said he hopes to work with American Airlines to see if there might be alternative solutions to canceling the route.
“I hope to work with American Airlines to see if there is an alternative solution to cancelling the route and will seek a meeting with the appropriate officials in the coming weeks to discuss options to keep this flight operating.”
United Airlines and El Al still fly from the U.S. to Israel.
This article was updated to reflect the fact that American Airlines merged with, rather than acquired, US Airways.
Lori Lowenthal Marcus