Delta Steps Up Israel Flights After American Pulls Back

Delta Air Lines Inc. is adding service between New York’s Kennedy Airport and Tel Aviv as American Airlines Group Inc. prepares to halt its Israel flights.

The additional four weekly round trips starting in May will push Delta’s total to 11 a week, according to a statement Thursday. American said last month it will halt a money-losing route between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv in January.

The new flights are a response to an increased customer demand for non-stop service between the two cities, said Nat Pieper, Delta’s senior vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In contrast, American had said it never turned a profit in six years of flying from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv and lost $20 million last year on the route.

Delta’s statement didn’t mention American’s pullback. 

Delta will fly between Kennedy and Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport using a 291-seat Boeing 777-200ER jet. 

A United spokeswoman wasn’t immediately available to comment on any potential changes in that carrier’s route between Newark, New Jersey, and Tel Aviv.

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