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Just as United and KLM are going large with extended-length 787-10 Dreamliners, El Al is preparing to launch a number of Boeing’s smallest 787-8s later this year.  Per Routes Online, the airline recently filed operational plans for late 2019 and early 2020, suggesting that it will fly the 787-8 between its home in Tel Aviv (TLV) to Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Mumbai (BOM), Paris (CDG), San Francisco (SFO) and Toronto (YYZ).

To get a bead on the differences between the three primary variants of the Dreamliner, we’ve compiled a guide comparing the 787-8, 787-9 and 787-10 by the numbers. El Al already has 8 787-9 planes in operation, with 282 total seats split between business class (32), premium economy (28) and economy (222).

El Al
El Al’s business class seat on its Dreamliner (Photo by Emily McNutt / The Points Guy)

While the carrier has yet to showcase the seating configuration for its smaller 787-8, we anticipate that the same refreshed business class product found on the 787-9 will be used — a huge upgrade over El Al’s outgoing seat in the forward cabin.

El Al
El Al’s initial 787-8 routes (rendering courtesy of Great Circle Mapper)

Here’s a look at El Al’s first 787-8 routes, all of which appear to be bookable via the carrier’s online reservation portal.

  • Tel Aviv (TLV)-Boston (BOS) — starting Dec. 15, 2019
  • Tel Aviv (TLV)-Chicago (ORD) — starting March 22, 2020
  • Tel Aviv (TLV)-Mumbai (BOM) — starting April 2, 2020
  • Tel Aviv (TLV)-Paris (CDG) — starting Dec. 16, 2019
  • Tel Aviv (TLV)-San Francisco (SFO) — starting March 30, 2020
  • Tel Aviv (TLV)-Toronto (YYZ) — starting Nov. 17, 2019
The inaugural BOS-TLV flight is already being shown as operated by El Al’s newest Dreamliner

Cash rates for these flights are pricing out in the typical $4,000 to $6,000 window one-way. You can redeem miles for El Al flights is through its Matmid program, and it isn’t known for being all that rewarding. Amex Membership Rewards points can be transferred to Matmid at a sub-par transfer rate of 1,000 Membership Rewards to 20 Matmid points. Redemptions from the US start at 900 Matmid points (45,000 Membership Rewards points) one-way for economy, 1,400 (70,000 Membership Rewards points) for premium economy and a whopping 2,000 (100,000 Membership Rewards points) for business.

While you can go that route, we recommend using Qantas, which allows award bookings on El Al. If you’re looking to boost your Qantas Frequent Flyer balance, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card currently offers 50,000 bonus miles one you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. This translates into 37,050 miles with Qantas Frequent Flyer or any of the program’s other 11 transfer partners with a 2:1.5 transfer ratio.

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Featured image by Emily McNutt/TPG.

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