El Al, American Airlines Announce Renewed Partnership
El Al, the official flag carrier of Israel, has announced that it will resume a full codeshare partnership with American Airlines on March 31, 2013. The move follows a change in Israel’s aviation-safety rating by U.S. regulators in November which restored Israel to top-tier rating. American had been unable to place its codes on El Al flights after the change, but El Al was still able to put its codes on AA flights.
The codeshare will allow the two carriers to cross-sell on each others’ flights. The agreement is expected to help El Al, as Israel last year reached an open-skies aviation deal with the EU, leading to more competition for the airline.
About one fifth of El Al’s total capacity comes from North America. The carrier’s busiest international route is Tel Aviv to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
El Al was founded in 1948 and currently services 45 destinations from its hub in Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, including flights to Europe, North America, and Africa.
Its name in Hebrew, אל על, means “to the skies” or “skywards.”
The FAA ratings, similar to those given by the European Union, apply to countries, not to individual airlines. The rating is based on such include elements such as airport and air-traffic control procedures and staff training. The 2008 downgrade reflected concerns by the FAA about Israel’s oversight of private aviation, rather than about the country’s commercial carriers or security matters.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)