United announces direct flights between S.F. and Tel Aviv

Julie Wiener

(JTA) — Less than two months after American Airlines canceled its Philadelphia-Tel Aviv route, rival carrier United Airlines is adding a San Francisco-Tel Aviv route.

United will begin the direct San Francisco-Tel Aviv flight in April, the Israeli business daily Globes reported.

The airline will offer three flights per week from San Francisco and three each week from Tel Aviv, using Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 passenger jets.

United Airlines Israel managing director Avi Friedman told Globes that the opening of the new route was in response to demand from customers, “especially businessmen and high-tech people.”

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“There is a substantial flow of passengers from the high-tech industry flying from Israel to companies operating in Silicon Valley and other locations in the San Francisco Bay area,” he added, noting that thousands of customers signed a petition in support of the direct flights.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro welcomed the news. On his Facebook page, Shapiro posted, “This is certainly welcome news. United Airlines’ new non-stop route between Tel Aviv and San Francisco will further strengthen the commercial, cultural, and personal relationships between the United States and Israel. These flights will facilitate technology exchanges between high-tech firms on the West Coast of the United States and the start-up community here in Israel, as well as people-to-people engagement between Israelis and Americans.”

In addition to the new United flights, El Al added a direct flight to Boston in June.

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