El Al to launch SFO-TLV flight

Old Jan 4, 18, 9:17 pm
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El Al to launch SFO-TLV flight

Competition for UA
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Old Jan 4, 18, 10:55 pm
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I didn't realize LY could do new US routes (wasn't their FAA rating downgraded for a while?).

That said, I've always said this about EL AL: Worth it to fly once to get the 'Israeli experience' on the way in. Then always fly other carriers to Israel (I did TK last time which worked pretty well). They'll also be at a disadvantage vs. UA with only 3/week it seems. I assume same 9-across config of 787.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 11:13 pm
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Under active discussion in the El Al forum: LY to launch SFO with the Dreamliner
Apparently 3x/week frequency starting in late 2018.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 11:55 pm
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Since this topic is mainly discussed elsewhere, I would just like to relate an economic lesson, spurred in my mind by this news, which is: as soon as airlines claim that a new type of more efficient, longer-distance, more comfortable airplane gives them a competitive advantage and is going to propel them into a profitable future, you find that other airlines are equally capable of doing just the same, and pretty soon the price wars are just the same again. Technology is rarely the saviour of the airline industry -- all the surplus generally goes to the customer who has seen airfares drop and drop and drop... Interesting lessons.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 12:41 am
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Originally Posted by TA View Post
Since this topic is mainly discussed elsewhere, I would just like to relate an economic lesson, spurred in my mind by this news, which is: as soon as airlines claim that a new type of more efficient, longer-distance, more comfortable airplane gives them a competitive advantage and is going to propel them into a profitable future, you find that other airlines are equally capable of doing just the same, and pretty soon the price wars are just the same again. Technology is rarely the saviour of the airline industry -- all the surplus generally goes to the customer who has seen airfares drop and drop and drop... Interesting lessons.
True. Will be interesting to see what happens to the SFO-TLV fares once LY starts operating.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 12:46 am
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
I didn't realize LY could do new US routes (wasn't their FAA rating downgraded for a while?).

That said, I've always said this about EL AL: Worth it to fly once to get the 'Israeli experience' on the way in. Then always fly other carriers to Israel (I did TK last time which worked pretty well). They'll also be at a disadvantage vs. UA with only 3/week it seems. I assume same 9-across config of 787.
Long over.

LY started new MIA service last year and will probably add ORD service once they get their 788s.

LY 787s are 1-2-1 in J, so they'll have a significant advantage over UA in seat comfort in front of the bus.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by ctownflyer View Post
Long over.

LY started new MIA service last year and will probably add ORD service once they get their 788s.

LY 787s are 1-2-1 in J, so they'll have a significant advantage over UA in seat comfort in front of the bus.
Yes but SFO and TLV are big tech hubs, and part of the appeal of this route is tech traffic and biz contracts (which of course my previous tech employer did not have). You also can't underestimate brand loyalty as well, I'm sure many of the bay area folk would take UA over LY if prices were identical, regardless of interior cabin supremacy.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 8:35 am
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Agree with above comments. As well, if you want to fly to TLV on Shabbat (i.e., Friday or Saturday), then you will fly with UA. In fact, even if you want to leave Thursday from SFO, you cannot fly LY. The 9:40pm UA flight gets you in the next day at 9:40pm. There may be Thursday flights on LY but they will have to be on Thursday morning.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 8:45 am
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If it's for tech I'm surprised they're going head to head with a limited schedule instead of TLV-SJC.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 8:53 am
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
If it's for tech I'm surprised they're going head to head with a limited schedule instead of TLV-SJC.
I was surprised too. Also, since many flights have Intel people, etc. or Israelis from Sunnyvale and that area then why not offer a closer airport? That should sway people.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by BThumme View Post
You also can't underestimate brand loyalty as well, I'm sure many of the bay area folk would take UA over LY if prices were identical, regardless of interior cabin supremacy.
I think you don't understand what people who live in the bay area think of UA, it is not good. FFers who flew UA remember being treated well vs the cruddy ULCC experience and cruddy product that UA provides in its "enhanced" form. Further, must of the SFO-TLV traffic is from the Isreali side, it is finance, business, and high tech people. Much of that traffic is Isrealis who live in SF and points south. I personally know lots of them, and they are not so hip on UA, and I think would prefer to take El Al, especially in J. Some still do (via LA usually).

And another key distinction is that El Al has a PE product. Its a LONG flight to TLV from SFO, and there will be a lot of demand from people who don't want to be stuck in a crappy UA Y seat that is .2" narrower than on a 737 and can afford (or has a company that allows) PE but not J.

Originally Posted by mduell View Post
If it's for tech I'm surprised they're going head to head with a limited schedule instead of TLV-SJC.
Lots of the high tech, and much of the finance related stuff is in SF itself. While I wonder how 3x a week will compete (and I have my doubts) I think SFO was the place to go.
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Old Jan 5, 18, 11:16 am
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It's practically impossible to book biz class on these UA flights for a reasonable price. So adding seats on this route is welcome. In economy there are more available seats in low booking classes, so not sure how profitable it will be for LY.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 1:08 am
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What if United was going to launch LAX-TLV as the rumored new LAX route?
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