United to resume direct flights to Israel, the first US carrier to do so since Oct. 7

Airlines says first two flights from Newark will include a stop in Munich, with goal of starting nonstop service again on March 6

View of a United Airlines flight at Ben Gurion Airport on August 3, 2013. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)
View of a United Airlines flight at Ben Gurion Airport on August 3, 2013. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

United Airlines said on Wednesday it plans to resume direct US flights to Israel early next month, becoming the first American carrier to resume service since the October 7 attack by Hamas terrorists on southern Israel.

United, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines all suspended US service to Israel in October following the atrocities, in which around 1,200 people were killed and 253 taken hostage.

Chicago-based United said it will resume flights from Newark to Tel Aviv next month but does not plan to restart flights from other US cities until at least this fall.

Restarting US carrier flights to Tel Aviv signals a potential turning point for travel to Israel, after tourism dried up on security fears following the Hamas terror rampage and Israel’s subsequent military offensive in Gaza.

United said its goal is to resume daily nonstop service to Tel Aviv starting March 6 from Newark on a Boeing 787-10.

On March 2 and March 4, the airline said it will operate flights from Newark to Tel Aviv with a stop in Munich, Germany, with return flights from Israel to Newark on March 3 and March 5.

United said it “conducted a detailed safety analysis in making this decision, including close work with security experts and government officials in the United States and Israel.”

The Israel Airports Authority confirmed United will start resuming flights on March 3.

An illustrative photo of a United Airlines plane taking off from Ben Gurion Airport on June 18, 2013. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

United, which hopes to bring back a second flight from Newark as soon as May, said it “will continue to monitor the situation in Tel Aviv and adjust the schedule as warranted, including changes to the resumed service from New York/Newark announced today.”

Before October 7, United had four direct flights daily to Tel Aviv from Newark, San Francisco, Washington and Chicago. The airline said the flights where service has not yet resumed “will be evaluated for resumption beginning in the fall.”

Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, Aegean and Air France among other airlines that have restarted flights to Tel Aviv.

Delta has canceled flights to Israel through April 30 while American Airlines has halted flights through October 28. A statement Wednesday from the Israel Airports Authority said Delta will resume flights on May 1, but the airline did not comment on the matter.

Last October, more than 30 US lawmakers urged the airlines to resume flights to Israel “as soon as possible.”

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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