BOSTON (JTA) — El Al, Israel’s national airline, is launching nonstop service between Boston and Ben Gurion International Airport.
The Israeli flag will be raised at Logan International Airport in Boston at a ceremony on Sunday.
The Tel Aviv-Boston route — the shortest between Israel and North America — is being seen as a further boost to the strong economic, academic and communal ties between Israel and Greater Boston and the New England region as a whole.
The flights will also serve as a gateway to 19 other U.S. cities through El Al’s partnership with Jet Blue Airlines, including Washington, D.C.
First announced last November, the flights add to El Al’s 34 weekly nonstop flights to New York, Los Angeles and Toronto. The schedule will include three weekly nonstop flights in both directions on a Boeing 767-300 aircraft, with 218 seats, including business and economy-plus class, according to a statement released by El Al.
“These flights will bring Israel and the Israeli-American and Jewish communities of Greater Boston closer together, strengthen the deep connection between the two communities and the Jewish State, and broaden business opportunities for Massachusetts and Israel,” said Ilan Segev, Boston co-chair of the Israeli-American Council.
In expanding its routes between Israel and North America, El Al is tapping into the increased demands and needs of the business community as well as promoting tourism, according to El Al President David Maimon.
The Boston area is home to some 200 companies with ties to Israel that contributed $6.2 million to the state’s economy, according to a 2013 report by David Goodtree, a board member of the New England-Israel Business Council. In addition, there are major Boston companies including EMC and Akamai that have established a large presence in Israel, Goodtree told JTA.
The flights are being promoted by a new website, FlyIsraelUSA, initiated by NEIBC and the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston.