American Carriers Get Limited Fly Rights

Empty ticketing counters are seen in Terminal 1 at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

United Airlines and Delta have won parity with El Al in conducting limited routes during the current travel ban, following intervention by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Under the new arrangement, El Al, United and Delta will coordinate one daily flight each every three days between Tel Aviv and New York in each direction. In addition, United and Delta will be allowed to take passengers leaving Israel on flights that have brought in cargo, Globes reported on Thursday.

The deal was the result of a complaint from the DoT that allowing only El Al to fly—albeit for the purpose of rescuing Israelis stranded abroad—violated existing agreements barring exclusionary measures. The DoT threatened to cancel landing rights to El Al in the U.S. if the situation were not corrected.

While no such complaints have been made by other countries, Globes said it is likely that a similar arrangement will be made the daily Tel Aviv – Frankfurt route operated exclusively by Israir.

Meanwhile, on Thursday the coronavirus cabinet approved extending the requirement for those returning from abroad, from all countries, to quarantine in state-sponsored designated hotels until Monday, 1 March 2021.

The quarantine is for 14 days for those who do not undergo a coronavirus test and 10 days for those who undergo two coronavirus tests with both being negative.

Exceptional requests will be evaluated on an individual basis by a Health Ministry committee at Ben-Gurion International Airport; those with vaccination or recovery certificates are not required to quarantine, in accordance with the Health Ministry procedure (however, there is a requirement for two negative tests), the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.

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