It wasn't very long ago that EL AL's route options were incredibly restricted thanks to the political situation in the Middle East. With various Arab countries refusing to give the airline permission to pass through their airspace, flights to a number of destinations to Israels's east were uneconomical or logistically impossible. Recent events, however, have started to change this.
As with all of the world's airlines, EL AL has effectively been on hiatus for most of the year so far but unlike a lot of its competitors, EL AL is yet to resume passenger services on its international routes. From October, however, that's set to change with the airline scheduling a return to New York JFK as well as to three other international destinations.
Right at the start of this year EL AL announced that they planned to start up service between Tel Aviv and San Francisco at some point in the fourth quarter of 2018. No further information was given at the time and no launch date was muted. Now, thanks to a schedule update and the keen eyes at Airline Route, we know when EL AL will start up this route and what the preliminary schedule looks like.
It wasn't all that far in the past that most of the news surrounding the Dreamliner was centred on the endless delays to production and then the onboard batteries that had a tendency to catch fire...but those days seem a long time ago. The 787 is now an undoubted success, it's appearing in more and more fleets worldwide and it's allowing airlines to operate routes which, up until recently, were simply not economical.
A few of the stories that have caught my eye recently but that didn't warrant a post of their own. Includes a one-off opportunity to fly on a Delta 747 between Honolulu and the mainland, news of El Al's greatly increased service to Newark, Singapore Airlines launching a corporate loyalty program and Emirates adding back flights to Orlando.