Florida the only U.S. state where El Al will service two cities

An El Al airliner takes off from Ben-Gurion Airport. Oct. 25, 2021. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90.

(JNS) — In a reflection of growing ties, Florida will soon be the only U.S. state where El Al will service two major cities, Gov Ron DeSantis said on April 27.

Israel’s national carrier, which recently relocated its U.S. headquarters from New York to Margate, Florida, will offer direct service to Tel Aviv from both Miami and Fort Lauderdale starting this fall.

The two Florida airports are about 30 miles apart.

The move comes after American Airlines ended its nonstop service from Miami to Tel Aviv in March after nearly two years.

The governor attributed the growing demand for El Al’s services in the Sunshine State to the “historic migration” of American Jews and Israeli Americans there due to his business-friendly policies.

DeSantis, who is visiting Israel with a trade delegation, also announced that Avenger Flight Group of Fort Lauderdale will build a training center in Israel with El Al.

Earlier in the day, the governor signed a bill to strengthen his state’s ability to combat antisemitism and vowed to reject all those who oppose Israel’s right to exist.

The Republican politician was keynoting a conference organized by The Jerusalem Post and the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance.

“When your focus is only on one Jewish state, and you hold it up to a different standard than any other country in the world, that is antisemitism,” said DeSantis.

“We are doing what we can do in Florida to enhance the ability to hold people accountable when that really crosses the line into threatening conduct. We are fighting back,” added the Republican, who is considering a 2024 U.S. presidential run.

“We must reject those who reject Israel’s right to exist,” he said.

More than 100,000 people flew El Al’s Miami to Tel Aviv route in 2022, which highlighted a need for more flights in Florida, the airline stated in February. This spring, El Al will increase its weekly flights from Miami International Airport to Ben-Gurion International Airport from five to six.

In September, El Al plans to debut direct flights from Fort Lauderdale to Israel, at first seasonally around the High Holidays (in mid- and late September) and Sukkot (late September into October). By the spring of 2024, El Al intends to have daily service to Israel from the Fort Lauderdale airport.

Mayor of Broward County Lamar Fisher stated that the new El Al service “will help to boost business, tourism and trade opportunities between the Middle East and Broward County.”