El Al and American Airlines strike deal

Dozens of new destinations in US expected to become accessible via direct lower-priced flights.

El Al 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
El Al 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
A new cooperation agreement expected to be signed by El Al and American Airlines, the world's largest airline, will allow travelers to reach almost any city in the US on a single, cheaper ticket. The strategic agreement, which is still pending the approval of Israeli and US aviation authorities, is expected to provide millions of travelers - as early as 2008 - with a far larger range of European and US destinations than those offered today. "The codesharing agreement between EL AL and American Airlines is the broadest, most comprehensive agreement between EL AL and any airline," EL AL Chairman, Professor Israel (Izzy) Borovich said. "The agreement reflects EL AL's strategy and ambition to significantly increase passenger traffic from North America to Israel and to become more global by expanding flight operations worldwide. All of this is to be achieved while accommodating the needs of our business passengers and enhancing tourism to Israel." "EL AL is a high quality, world-class airline that will provide our passengers and shippers with additional choices and convenient service to Tel Aviv." Henry Joyner, an American Airlines' Senior Vice President said. "We also look forward to serving EL AL passengers on our American flights in many of our North American markets. We're especially pleased to be codesharing with EL AL into and out of our new $1.3 billion state-of-the-art JFK terminal." Today, only three US destinations can be reached via direct flight from Israel; New York, Miami and Los Angeles. All other destinations in the US require a connecting flight and a second ticket. Under the agreement, the number of North American cities accessible via direct flight will grow by 23. The deal was unanimously approved by El Al's board of directors.