After a vocal performance of both the American and Israeli national anthems, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González, Israel Tourism Commissioner Uri Steinberg, Consul General of Israel in Miami Lior Haiat, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv Yisrael Meir Lau, and EL AL Israel Airlines President and CEO David Maimon each gave congratulatory remarks about Florida's only nonstop connection to Israel. Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners Chairman Esteban L. Bovo, Jr., joined by County Commissioners Rebeca Sosa and Sally Heyman, also presented Maimon with a framed proclamation in honor of "EL AL Israel Airlines Day" in Miami-Dade County.
"We are thrilled to welcome EL AL back to our community, and to be the only destination in Florida and in the southeast U.S. with non-stop service to Tel Aviv," said Mayor Gimenez. "Miami-Dade County and MIA continue to attract new air service by the world's top airlines, and from the world's most influential cities."
EL AL will operate three weekly roundtrip flights on Boeing 777-200 aircraft with 279 seats, which will bring thousands of new travelers to Miami from Israel and the Middle East. In addition to being EL AL's only destination in Florida, Miami also became the airline's fifth route in the U.S. EL AL flies to 36 destinations from Israel and serves hundreds of other destinations throughout the world via partnerships with leading carriers.
"We deeply appreciate EL AL Israel Airlines for choosing Miami as its newest U.S. destination," said Director González. "In our efforts to make MIA a truly global gateway, Israel has always been one of our top strategic targets because of its unique and significant global location, and because of its deep cultural ties with Miami. We are proud to offer our passengers another travel option to that region of the world."
EL AL is the seventh international passenger airline to schedule a service launch into the Miami market this year. Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris began four weekly flights to Guadalajara and daily service to Mexico City on February 1; Canadian airline First Air began charter passenger flights on February 4 from Ontario; low-cost transatlantic airline WOW air launched thrice-weekly service to Reykjavík, Iceland on April 5; Avianca Brazil began daily service to Sao Paulo on June 24; Aer Lingus launched three weekly flights to Dublin on September 1; and SAS began weekly service to Stockholm on October 29. MIA currently serves 104 airlines, which is the most of any U.S. airport.