Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
US Airways aircraft on the tarmac at Philadelphia airport. (archive)

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.

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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.

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Lori Lowenthal Marcus is a contributor to the JewishPress.com. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

55 COMMENTS

  1. I suspect the reason is financial since it makes no sense to keep flying a route if its costing a company $20 million and its not making a profit. Enough of this ‘ conspiracy ‘ theory crap people, not everything is anti Semitic.

  2. This is crazy . And full of BS. They stopping the flight to Israel is Not because of money. I think it's all Islamic force.I am so mad about it. I live in Philly our air port is in much need of business from all over the world and Israel bringing lots of business man / women to Philly. It must be something we can do to make them change there mind
    I am

  3. Brainwashed. Benny has everyone beleiving no one can trust anyone except him. Yet his Hawkish Hysteria about a bad deal doesn't pass the sanify test.

    The US will have an awkward decision about sanctions when they are proposed. Do they take the moral high ground and there is no veto from the US? Benny is wise to negotiate in good faith and move fast.

    Benny is playing fast and loose with Israels security and Israels relationship with the US. Cound end up very badly for Israel, you can blame all you want, Benny owns this when it happens.

    While the waters are calm a smart businessman will run before the sanctions.

  4. To the best of my knowledge, ALL of the direct routes between the U.S. and Israel have been profitable, so surprised to hear that this one isn't.

    I figured that AA would be moving this service to its big JFK hub. It wouldn't be at-all unusual for the hub of a merged carrier to be 'stripped' of previous activity–witness what happened to Lambert-St. Louis when the same AA swallowed-up TWA z"l.

    Note that Delta also flies the route, with a 747 each way daily.

  5. US Air has to be the worst airline I have ever flown on and I was advised years ago by a travel agent never to fly on American so I hope our community knows how to boycott corporate anti-Semites. Hurt them in the pocket book-that is the language they will understand. This has to receive much more publicity than it is getting now.

  6. Any company or airline that dosen't support Israel will go down, God says anyone who is against Israel will have to answer to God and you can see the stocks went down in America and the fires are raging. America needs to support Israel no matter what anyone else says on these comments.

  7. Jorge Bravo If that's what you think. But it's not and by the way I'm not too sure how much longer we'll still be able to exercise our FEEDOMS in this backward society/nation but as more and more people like you continue to destroy America from within, I'd say we don't have much longer.

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