EL AL’s First 787 Destinations Will Be London And Newark

Yesterday EL AL finally revealed the details of their new Boeing 787 cabins, as the airline will be taking delivery of their first of 16 787 aircraft in the coming months.

Up until now EL AL’s longhaul hard product has been really underwhelming, as they don’t even have direct aisle access from every seat in first class, or fully flat seats in business class. So the 787 will represent a huge improvement.

EL AL is installing a fully flat business class product with direct aisle access from every seat, which looks very similar to United’s new Polaris product.

EL AL will also be eliminating first class (given that their new business class is better than their old first class), and will be introducing premium economy instead.

Anyway, I’m sure I’m not the only one who is wondering on which routes EL AL will first introduce the 787, given what a great product improvement the plane represents. I’ve been wanting to review EL AL, and at this point figure I might as well wait until they have their new 787.

The Jewish Press reports that EL AL’s first 787 destination will be London, followed by Newark, followed by Hong Kong. Per the story:

A new 787 will be inducted into service every quarter. The new planes will first fly on the company’s London route, and later this year on the Newark line. By the beginning of 2018 the new planes will enter the Hong Kong route.

This matches what EL AL says on their Facebook page:

Beginning in September it will fly to Europe and from October will gradually be introduced on EL AL’s long distance destinations in North America and the Far East.

Putting this plane on the London route makes sense, given that the plane can do a roundtrip in a single day.

At first the Newark route caught me off guard, but keep in mind that United is already flying their new 777-300ER with Polaris seats from Newark to Tel Aviv, so it’s clear that this is intended to be a competitive response on EL AL’s part.

As of the time of this post, EL AL hasn’t actually adjusted the aircraft type on any of those routes, though EL AL has stopped selling first class on one of their frequencies to London Heathrow as of September 10, 2017, and on their flight to Newark as of October 15, 2017, which is probably a good indication of the timeline with which we should expect these new routes to get the plane.

However, since EL AL hasn’t yet taken delivery of their first 787, I imagine this is very much subject to change.

I can’t wait to try EL AL’s 787!

(Tip of the hat to Alon)

Comments

  1. Though I agree that competing with United at EWR would make sense, it could just be that El Al exclusively uses the 747 to serve JFK, and a switch to a 787 would be too great a capacity reduction.

  2. There is an extremely sizable Hasidic population in Clearwater, NJ, which is orders of magnitude closer to EWR than JFK. I think this will play to that crowd well.

  3. Doesn’t 16 new 787s seem like a lot when they have less than 10 long haul destinations?

  4. @niko jas keep in mind some of their longer routes will require two planes to operate daily frequencies as well as having I assume atleast one extra 787, most likely operated on a high-traffic medium haul destination when not in longhual use, to be able to swap in on routes when planes go on scheduled maintenance and during unscheduled mechanical failures being able to swap in.

  5. good luck getting a seat. most of the premium seats long haul to israel are taken up by ultra orthodox charity collectors on their way to-from collection runs. plus their extended families.

    plus, you only have a 50/50 shot that any given elal plane will take off reasonably on time.

    plus, their soft product should be considered torture according to the geneva conventions

    however, israel is an amazing place and you should visit

  6. oh, and there only is one decent kosher champagne. it’s good, reasonably available, and not particularly expensive (Pommery). too bad ElAl doesn’t stock it- expect a 10 dollar cava

  7. This is good news for those up in the front=, but those in the back sitting 9 across for a TLV-EWR or TLV-LAX will be very uncomfortable.

  8. The El Al Business Class and Qatar Qsuite trip report in September is actually going to be one of the best ever!!!

  9. @Ben @J Frid There is a ginormous Jewish population throughout the tri-state area (1.8 million in New York and over 545,000 in NJ). Some live closer to EWR and some are closer to JFK. While some Jews do wear blacks hats and black robes (like those in Lakewood) many do not. Anyways, point is there’s demand at both airports.

  10. Hi Lucky. Again I want to pointed out that El Al business class seat is different from United Polaris. The seat have more pitch and have similar layout to Thompson Vantage XL instead.

  11. Lucky try this route:

    US to CDG – AF La Premiere
    CDG to TLV – AF
    TLV to LHR – El Al 787
    LHR to DOH – Qatar Qsuite
    DOH to US however you can.

    Would be great.

  12. @Steve @Lucky I think we need to wait to see what the pricing on El Al business class will be. That said, a five hour flight is not very long. Flying from Newark will give Lucky a much better sense of the product. Then he should fly their old first class to London which will allow him to compare, but most importantly review a product that has gotten virtually no reviews before it goes extinct. It’s not likely that Lucky will be back in Israel anytime soon after he visits so he might as well try and experience an airline all he can instead of flying an airline and product he already has.

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