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El Al Airlines, Delta Air Lines Announce Partnership

El Al has returned multiple planes to lessors after cutting all of its services. The airline is negotiating with its government and unions to accept a state aid package. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Delta Air Lines and El Al Israel Airlines recently announced a strategic partnership between the two international carriers. The partnership will benefit customers by allowing them to check in for a flight and have their baggage checked through to their final destination. The partnership will also allow the potential for additional routes to be opened up by either carrier between the United States and Israel as well. 

The partnership between the two carriers will allow passengers to check in, check bags and get their boarding passes for their entire journey on the two carriers. According to a press release from the Atlanta-based carrier, customers can fly from Tel Aviv to 200 destinations served by Delta on the same day.

This will be accomplished by flying through airports that Delta serves, Atlanta, Boston, and New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport, along with the airports El Al serves which include New York’s JFK airport and Boston, along with Los Angeles, Miami and Newark. 

Delta’s Senior Vice President for Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, Matteo Curcio, believes customers will benefit greatly from the new partnership stating, “Working closely with EL AL will further strengthen Delta’s connection to Israel by offering more customers unrivaled access to destinations across the U.S. Enhanced partnerships are integral to our long-term strategy to better connect Delta customers around the world.”

While Delta is a part of the Skyteam alliance, El Al is not affiliated with any of the global three alliances. The Israeli flag carrier does have other partnerships with several other airlines including Aeromexico, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Etihad Airways, Qantas and now Delta. It is unknown how the new partnership with Delta will affect the carrier’s current partnership with Alaska, as the two US-based carriers are affiliated with two different alliances. 

New Options For Customers

With Delta’s Los Angeles base, customers will be better connected on the West Coast traveling to and from Israel. This allows Delta and El Al to compete in the West Coast market directly with United, which is currently the only other airline to operate a route to Tel Aviv from the West Coast out of the carrier’s San Fransico hub. This will give customers another choice when traveling to Israel from that coast. 

The partnership also begs the question of whether El Al or Delta will launch a new route to Tel Aviv in the future. Currently, El Al operates three flights a day from New York’s JFK airport and two flights a day from Newark to Tel Aviv utilizing Boeing 787 aircraft.

Delta also operates a daily flight from JFK utilizing the carrier’s Airbus A330s. With 4 flights a day from JFK now being offered to customers for El Al and Delta through the new partnership, there is potential for El Al to move an aircraft resource to a new route.

Both carriers also operate flights out of Boston to Tel Aviv. While no new routes have been announced by the Israeli flag carrier this month, El Al did announce that the carrier would launch flights to Melbourne, Australia this past March. The two carriers could also leave the current schedule as is, keeping the current frequency. Time will tell if either carrier will expand as a result of the partnership.

Zach Cooke


  • Zach Cooke

    Zach’s love for aviation began when he was in elementary school with a flight sim and model planes. This passion for being in the air only intensified throughout high school when he earned his Private Pilot Certificate. He then attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, earning his certificates and ratings to later flight instruct and share his passion for aviation with others. He now resides in the North East living out his dream as an airline pilot.

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