El Al’s first flight to Miami in almost a decade takes off this week, and the company says advance bookings for the new route are strong.
El Al’s North and Central America managing director told Miami Today that some flights are already full, despite the route being announced on short notice. Overall, demand has been “very nice.”
In 2008, El Al cancelled their previous Miami-Tel Aviv route due to a perfect storm of high fuel costs and economic crisis. This time, the airline “came to stay,” he said.
So far, demand is slightly higher from Israelis than from the American side, but the airline hopes that will soon balance out. An internal debate within El Al over launching Miami or Chicago meant that service wasn’t announced until less than six months before first flight, when it should normally have been announced a year out.
Demand for first and business class seats is said to be “very good,” with a high ratio of seats sold. El Al has already contracted a premium lounge at MIA.
The first flight departs Israel on November 1 just after midnight. It returns from Miami to Tel Aviv at 1 PM.