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American Airlines to end U.S.-Israel flights on profit concerns

American Airlines will end service between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv, a legacy of US Airways, next year.
American Airlines will end service between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv, a legacy of US Airways, next year. Star-Telegram

American Airlines plans to halt flights between the U.S. and Israel early next year after determining that its route was losing money.

The service between Philadelphia and Tel Aviv was a legacy of US Airways Group, which combined with American in December 2013 to form the world’s largest carrier. American faces competition from New York-based flights operated by United Airlines and El Al Israel Airlines.

“It is strictly a financial decision,” American spokesman Casey Norton said Thursday. “The route has not been profitable.”

Service to Tel Aviv from Philadelphia will halt Jan. 4, with the last U.S.-bound return flight a day later, Norton said. Fort Worth-based American notified 19 employees in Tel Aviv of the decision Thursday, he said.

American lost $20 million last year on the route, which has never been profitable since service began in 2009, Norton said. The carrier hasn’t yet determined where it will shift the Airbus A330-200 used on the flights.

“We did our best to make it work, but we couldn’t get it to turn a profit,” Norton said.

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