Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Photo: AP
Non-stop to O'hare?

Coming Soon: Tel Aviv-Chicago non-stop

Tourism Ministry working with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to expand Israel-US flight direct flight routes to include Chicago. Meanwhile, El Al, Aeromexico also mulling direct routes

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Tourism Ministry Director General Noaz Bar-Nir are promoting a plan to operate a direct flight route between Chicago and Tel Aviv.


The plan will see Chicago based airline United Airlines, which currently operates two daily flights between Tel Aviv and Newark Airport in New Jersey take on the direct route flights.


Bar-Nir spoke to the Chicago mayor on a recent working visit to the US. According to Bar-Nir, there is massive potential for direct flights between Chicago and Israel and Emanuel is pushing the matter forward with the airline.


Discussing the matter a few months ago, United Airlines' Israel Managing Director Avi Friedman said that the company was looking into adding more routes from North America with destinations like San Francisco, Washington and Chicago among the destinations under consideration.


United's problem is airplane availability. The Israel line is one of the company's most profitable routes and United has expressed its hopes of adding daily flights in the past.


Israel's national airline El Al has also been mulling the possibility of launching another US route with a re-launch of the Chicago-Tel Aviv route and a launch of the San Francisco line two of the options under consideration.


The problem is that until Israel goes back up in the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) rankings, it cannot receive approval to land in any of the US' airports with the exception of New York, Newark and Los Angeles.


El Al, United, US Airways and Delta currently offer direct flights between Israel and the US with some 870,000 passengers flying the routes in the first seven months of the year.


Meanwhile, Mexican airline Aeromexico is also examining the option of operating flights between Mexico City and Tel Aviv. The issue came up in talks between the Tourism Ministry director general and Aero Mexico representatives during his US visit.


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פרסום ראשון: 09.01.12, 08:19
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