Skip to content

Delta doubles down on Tel Aviv with second flight sporting snazzy new cabins

August 26 2020
5 min read
Delta doubles down on Tel Aviv with second flight sporting snazzy new cabins
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The competition for the Tel Aviv market is heating up.

With much of the world closed to Americans, U.S. airlines are taking a measured approach to resuming long-haul flying. Some flights are profitable with cargo alone, but there's not enough demand to warrant flying as many routes during the pandemic.

However, there's one transatlantic market that isn't showing any signs of cooling down, and that's Israel. Delta is the latest carrier to make some exciting updates to its Tel Aviv flying.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Starting on Jan. 15, 2021, the Atlanta-based carrier will fly one of its newest jets — the Airbus A330-900neo — from JFK to Tel Aviv, as confirmed by Cirium, an aviation data and analytics company. And that's a big deal because it means that Delta will finally bring its top-notch onboard experience to the market.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news!

Delta's Airbus A330-900neo features 281 seats across three cabins: business, premium economy and coach. The 29-seat biz cabin is outfitted with Delta One Suites, offering a private, enclosed suite with plenty of space to sleep, eat and work.

Delta One Suites on the Airbus A330-900neo (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

Premium Select is Delta's take on premium economy — and this will be the airline's first time offering the cabin to Tel Aviv. Expect an experience similar to domestic first class in one of the 28 recliner seats.

Premium Select on the Airbus A330-900neo (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

The A330-900's coach cabin is split between 56 seats in the extra-legroom Comfort+ section and 168 standard Main Cabin seats.

The aircraft also features a new wireless in-flight entertainment system developed internally by Delta, as well as high-speed 2Ku Wi-Fi connectivity.

Delta has long offered service between New York and Tel Aviv, most recently with the Airbus A330-300. That jet is an older variant of the A330 family and doesn't sport a premium economy cabin. Plus, the biz seats on the A330-300 are simply standard reverse herringbone ones — not Delta One Suites.

Delta One on the Airbus A330-300 (Photo by Christian Kramer/The Points Guy)

The upgauge isn't the only change Delta is making to its Tel Aviv flying. As of Dec. 12, the carrier will add a second daily frequency between JFK and Tel Aviv, per Cirium data. Between Dec. 12 and Jan. 15, both flights will be operated by the older Airbus A330-300. But starting Jan. 15, the following frequency will sport the new cabins on the Airbus A330-900neo:

  • DL 234 JFK - TLV 11:39 p.m. - 5:10 p.m. (the next day)
  • DL 235 TLV - JFK 11:55 p.m. - 5:25 a.m. (the next day)

Of course, the schedule is subject to change — especially as coronavirus-related travel restrictions are extended. The new flight is currently loaded in the schedule and ready to book, but there's limited award availability, unfortunately.

For now, most Americans aren't allowed to visit Israel. Only pre-registered students, as well as family members celebrating certain life cycle events, are allowed to enter with a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Israeli citizens are allowed to enter with a mandatory quarantine too. To stay abreast of Israel's reopening, be sure to follow our country-by-country guide to reopening.

Related: Review of Delta One Suites on the A330-900neo

Delta's move is the latest update U.S. airlines have made to their Tel Aviv flights. Earlier this summer, United announced a new route to Tel Aviv from its Chicago hub. The three weekly Chicago O'Hare (ORD) flights join United's existing service from Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO) and Washington (IAD).

United's Chicago-to-Tel Aviv flight follows years of expansion in the Tel Aviv market. In addition to twice-daily service from its Newark hub, United launched thrice-weekly San Francisco-to-Tel Aviv flights in March 2016. United followed with moves that suggest the flights were profitable, quickly upgrading to daily service later that same year. (The carrier also upgauged the aircraft from a Boeing 787-9 to a brand-new Boeing 777-300ER.)

United's Polaris cabin to Israel (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Then last year, United started serving Tel Aviv from the nation’s capital. The Washington Dulles flight was the carrier’s fourth route to the country.

Related: Why United’s plan to fly 23 weekly flights to Israel isn’t as surprising as it seems

American Airlines also plans to reenter the Tel Aviv market in 2021. As part of its new strategic alliance with JetBlue, AA announced that it'll start flying to Tel Aviv from JFK next summer and from Dallas/Fort Worth that winter. This will be the first time American has flown to Israel since it suspended its Philadelphia to Tel Aviv route in 2016. It's not yet clear what plane AA will fly to Tel Aviv.

All this expansion comes at a time when Israel's national airline, El Al, is in trouble. The carrier has effectively "closed" due to the pandemic. Before the coronavirus, El Al was expanding stateside with service to Chicago, Las Vegas and Orlando (in addition to existing flights to Boston, JFK, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark and San Francisco).

Now, with El Al grounded for the foreseeable future, the U.S. carriers are trying to assert their position as the dominant player to Tel Aviv. United offers the most seats of the "Big 3," but with Delta's latest move, loyalists will now have a second daily frequency outfitted with the best seats the carrier offers.

Featured photo by A Delta A330-900 takes off. (Photo courtesy of Airbus)

TPG featured card

Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees