Airline due to shut down flights between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv starting January, say decision motivated strictly by economics.

American Airlines, which announced last week that the company’s Tel Aviv-Philadelphia line would be canceled starting January 2016, has claimed that the decision was purely economic with no ulterior motives in response to an inquiry by Ynet.

A statement from the company said that American Airlines is aware that the line’s closing was a shock to almost everyone, but that the Tel Aviv-Philadelphia line was never profitable. It was given many opportunities, they airline said, the last one after ‘American’ merged with US Airways, in hopes that it might improve.

An American Airlines plane at Ben Gurion Airport. (Photo: American Airlines)
An American Airlines plane at Ben Gurion Airport. (Photo: American Airlines)


The airline added that the length of the line requires 13 hours and two planes to operate. In their statement, the company emphasized the fierce competition they faced, and that the importance of the Israeli market is why the line was given so many chances in the first place.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who has visited Israel a number of times, expressed his disappointment with the decision to close the line, saying that it might prove to be short-sighted, considering the increased interest shown by Israeli companies and businesspeople in Philadelphia. American Airlines operates 76 percent of air traffic in the city.

Richard A. Bendit President of the Philadelphia-Israel Camber of Commerce, also expressed his disappointment in the decision, mentioning that since the line’s opening in 2009 Philadelphia has become the commercial gate to Tel Aviv, with 25 percent of all Israeli exports to the US (totaling about $5 billion) going through the city’s airport. The line’s closing, according Bendit, does not indicate business as usual.

As reported by Ynetnews