Per the Airline of Professional Flight Attendants newsletter, Hotline, American Airlines will be ending service to Tel Aviv. Currently operated with a legacy US Airways Airbus A330-200, the flight is scheduled to end on January 4th, 2016. Despite many rumors of the company starting a second flight to Tel Aviv, perhaps from New York/JFK or Miami, this will leave Delta and United as the only two U.S. carriers with service to Israel.
The newsletter does offer some interesting tib bits about the service, allowing us to get a better idea of why the service is being pulled.
PHL-TLV has not performed well since its inception in 2009. Service between PHL and TLV has been a source of pride for the Philadelphia base and is a popular bid choice for Flight Attendants due to its high credit. According to American Airlines Management, in its six years, the Philadelphia to Tel Aviv route never turned a profit in any year, and has already lost over lost more than $20 million on this service in the past year alone.
Q: Why did this route work for US Airways for years but shortly after the merger, it does not work for American?
A: The PHL TLV route has never been profitable for our airline. We want to give every route the chance to succeed, andwe gave it a fair shot, but at a certain point, no matter how much we want to serve a particular route; we have to make the right decision for our business.
As is standard when an airline exits the market, American will offer to rebook affected customers. They also plan to offer full refunds to those who do not wish to rebook.