Logan International Airport paraded the Israeli flag together with the American one on Sunday night to mark the departure of the first direct, Tel-Aviv bound flight out of Boston in close to 30 years.
“If there is something that Bostonians do not like to do is to connect through JFK [Airport in New York],” joked Uri Steinberg of Israel’s Ministry of Tourism in reference to the historic rivalry between Bean Town and the Big Apple.
He spoke at a special reception to honor the launch by Israel’s national carrier El Al of its new non-stop line, its fourth to North America, along with Los Angeles, Toronto, and the New York – New Jersey area.
Before Sunday, Massachusetts residents who wanted to fly to Israel had to travel first to New York, which unnecessarily prolonged what was already an almost 12-hour trip.
Some “67,000 people flew last year between Boston and Tel Aviv, that is a healthy volume,” said Massachusetts Port Authority CEO Thomas Glynn.
This will make a difference for those travelers, he said.
Half of the traffic is tourism and the other is the growing business ties, Glynn told The Jerusalem Post.
“There are 200 companies that have facilities in both Massachusetts and Israel,” Glynn said.
“There has been a lot of affirmative efforts by Massachusetts to increase trade with Israel,” state Transportation Secretary Staphanie Pollack added.