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El Al launched a code-sharing agreement with American Airlines. The agreement announced Tuesday will reduce fares for North American travelers in 25 cities. Flight transfers also will be smoother, Yoav Weiss, the Israeli airline’s deputy chief executive for marketing in North and Central America, told JTA. In terms of ticketing and boarding, “The passenger sees only one airline in front of him — this is El Al,” Weiss said, a process that will facilitate luggage check-in and plane changing. The first cities to benefit from the code sharing, starting Sept. 2, are Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Toronto, Miami, San Francisco and Washington. Round trips at the launch will cost $1,471 from Boston and Washington, $1,591 from Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami and Toronto, and $1,711 from San Francisco. The code sharing also will allow passengers to break up flights to or from Israel in European capitals. It will be in addition to the direct flights El Al already runs from Los Angeles, Toronto and New York.

A 12-year-old Israeli girl who arrived alone at London’s Heathrow Airport refused to board an El Al plane to return home.

The unnamed girl who would not board the plane Monday had arrived in Britain a month ago. She was detained by immigration officials when no one met her at the airport. The girl had the address of a family friend that turned out to be incorrect.

Israeli police located the girl’s mother, who said she did not want her daughter to return to Israel. The mother also told police she already had sent her 9-year-old son to a friend in London. A younger child was removed from his mother’s home and is now staying with his father.

British police found the 9-year-old boy in Leeds, in the north of England. The woman with whom he was staying claimed to be his legal guardian.

The mother was arrested in Israel, and in court she claimed that she could not care for her children and wanted them to live in Britain permanently. She told reporters that she would like her daughter to get political asylum in the United Kingdom.

Israeli police suspect the mother sold her children, but still have no proof.

British social services will work with Israeli social workers to try to convince the girl to return to Israel.

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