Major US carrier Delta Air Lines plans to revive daily flights to Tel Aviv from New York this summer, becoming the latest airline to indicate interest in resuming operations amid the war between Israel and Hamas. 

Delta will fly the route with an Airbus A330-900neo starting on 7 June, providing some 2,000 weekly seats from John F Kennedy International airport to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International airport. 

The decision ”follows an extensive air security risk assessment by the airline,” it says on 14 March. ”Delta continues to closely monitor the situation in Israel in conjunction with government and private-sector partners.” 


Source: Delta Air Lines

Delta has plans to restart long-haul flying between New York and Israel starting in June 

While some local airlines and a handful of international carriers continued flying to Tel Aviv after the war began in October, many suspended operations due to security concerns. 

Delta did so initially through 31 October, while operating special repatriation flights from Athens to New York to support passengers returning to the USA from Israel. The carrier, along with other international operators, has been slow to restore service since the war’s earliest days. 

”As always, the safety of customers and crew remains the airline’s paramount priority,” Delta said at the time. ”The airline’s people are keeping our customers and those impacted top of mind as they continuously monitor the rapidly evolving security environment and assess its operations based on security guidance and intelligence reports.”

The US State Department maintains a travel advisory urging citizens to reconsider travel to Israel and the West Bank due to “terrorism and civil unrest”.

”Terrorist groups, lone-actor terrorists and other violent extremists continue plotting possible attacks in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza,” the department says. ”Terrorists and violent extremists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls and local government facilities.”

Multiple media outlets in the region reported on 12 March that an Iraqi terrorist group claimed to have completed a drone attack at Ben Gurion airport. 

Some airlines have returned to Tel Aviv despite the risks. Ireland’s Ryanair, for example, resumed a reduced flying schedule on 1 February, as did Transavia France and Czech low-cost airline Smartwings

However, Rynair again suspended flights to Tel Aviv on 27 February, citing the high costs of operating at the airport’s Terminal 3 while Terminal 1 is closed. It has since signalled that it does not plan to resume flights to Israel for Europe’s upcoming summer months. 

Israeli operators El Al, Israir and Arkia – along with Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Flydubai, Hainan Airlines and Greek carrier Bluebird Airways – have continued serving Tel Aviv since the conflict began. 

Delta has a codeshare agreement with El Al, which operates from Tel Aviv to New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami and Fort Lauderdale with a long-haul fleet of 16 Boeing 787-8s and -9s and four 777-200s.