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The Daily TIP: United Inaugurating Direct Dulles to Tel Aviv Route Next Year, First-Ever from DC to Israel

Posted by Tip Staff - August 03, 2018

United Inaugurating Direct Dulles to Tel Aviv Route Next Year, First-Ever from DC to Israel
Thousands Participate in Jerusalem's Largest Ever LGBTQ Pride March
Iran Begins Naval Exercise in Strategic Waterway, Seen as Threat to Global Shipping
El Al’s Newest Airliner Celebrates the 707, and 70 Years as Israel’s National Carrier

United Inaugurating Direct Dulles to Tel Aviv Route Next Year, First-Ever from DC to Israel

United Airlines announced on Thursday that it would celebrate the 20th anniversary of its business in Israel by inaugurating a non-stop route between Washington, D.C., and Tel Aviv next year, making it the first-ever American airline to serve Israel from the D.C. area, Globes reported.

The carrier will offer direct flights to Tel Aviv from its hub at Washington Dulles, operating three flights a week starting May 22. United will use Boeing 777-200ER for the flights.

The route will give United a third non-stop link to Tel Aviv, which already operates flights to Israel from Newark and San Francisco.

“As we begin celebrating 20 years of service in Israel, we want to thank our customers and employees who have helped make United the top US airline serving Israel,” said United senior country director for Israel Avi Friedman.

United observed it has continuously served Israel since August 1999, when it launched non-stop route between Newark and Tel Aviv.

Israeli Minister of Tourism, Yariv Levin, said: “The announcement of the route from Washington to Tel Aviv in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism is a wonderful way of marking 20 years of United's activity in Israel. Opening the route will further increase incoming tourism to Israel and be in addition to the extraordinary marketing effort we are making - an effort that will bring new records in incoming tourism to Israel."

The only other U.S. airline serving Israel is Delta, which operates a route to Tel Aviv from its hub at New York JFK.

Thousands Participate in Jerusalem's Largest Ever LGBTQ Pride March

Thousands participated in the 17th annual LGBTQ pride event in Jerusalem on Thursday under heavy police protection. Some organizers put the number of marchers as high as 35,000 -- which would make it the largest pride parade in Jerusalem ever.

Participants waved rainbow flags and Israeli flags with rainbow motifs as they processed through the Jewish part of Jerusalem on the 1.2-mile-long march that took place largely without incident, The Times of Israel reported.

Despite the heavy police presence, the crowd of mostly young Israelis celebrated their identity in an upbeat and positive atmosphere. The marchers carried signs with slogans such as “Born this way,” “There is love in me, and it wins,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Some in the crowd wore kippot provided by religious LGBT activists, a unique feature of the pride parade in Jerusalem.

“Our job is to make sure everyone can express themselves,” Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich told journalists at the event, “and of course that no one gets hurt.”

The theme of this year’s event honored elderly members and pioneers of the LGBT community. Robin Rosenbaum, a sixty-three-year-old San Francisco native, said she was touched by the choice and said it signified “that we’re visible and that our voices and needs are going to be heard by the establishment.”

Another activist reflected on the unique nature of the pride parade in Jerusalem, compared to the high-profile sister event in Tel Aviv. “The energy is definitely different here than what you see in Tel Aviv, but it is just as high level,” said Jerusalem resident Noy Aharon.

Iran Begins Naval Exercise in Strategic Waterway, Seen as Threat to Global Shipping

In an apparent threat to global shipping, Iran has begun naval exercises in the Straits of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

United States defense officials told the Journal that the exercises, involving more than 100 vessels — though mostly smaller craft — has "fully started."

In addition, there are flying craft, mostly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), taking part in the exercise.

Some U.S. military officials believe that the exercises are signal from Iran that "if Tehran wanted to close the Strait of Hormuz, a critical shipping route that links the Persian Gulf with the Arabian Sea and ultimately, the Indian Ocean, it could do so."

Roughly 30% of the world's oil supply passes through the Straits for Hormuz.

According to the Journal, the "U.S. naval presence in the region currently is somewhat below levels that have been considered normal for the area in recent years." However, The Jerusalem Post reported that the U.S. is training using missiles and lasers to counter the threat posed by Iran's smaller boats.

Iran has a long history of threatening free passage of international shipping through the Straits of Hormuz.

For example, In May 2016, during the presidency of Barack Obama, Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, the deputy commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said, “If the Americans and their regional allies want to pass through the Strait of Hormuz and threaten us, we will not allow any entry.”

El Al’s Newest Airliner Celebrates the 707, and 70 Years as Israel’s National Carrier

The 70th anniversary celebrations of the State of Israel are joined this year by EL AL Israel Airlines, which was born in tandem with the state in 1948. In honor of its own birthday and to promote the launch of 16 new and advanced aircraft, the company painted one of its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners — named “Rehovot” — in the style of its legendary fleet of Boeing 707s, complete with the traditional 1960s black nose.

Why honor the 707? After all, during the early 1950s the fledgling national carrier had been well-served by Lockheed Constellations. In 1955, the airline purchased two Bristol Britannia aircraft — the second airline in the world to fly this plane, after BOAC (the British Overseas Airways Corporation).

But it was the 707 that in 1961 launched Israel’s civil aviation jet era and turned EL AL into the Middle East’s first all-jet airline.

The period between 1961 and 1972 was the pinnacle of 707 service, according to Marvin G. Goldman, Israeli civil aviation historian and proprietor of Israel Airline Museum.

The number of employees grew to nearly 4,000 by the end of 1970, including 64 flight crews, and about 90% of the staff were Israeli nationals. Pilots were typically recruited directly out of one of the finest training centers in the world—the Israeli Air Force.

By early 1971 the 707s and 720Bs had served EL AL faithfully and safely for almost 10 years. They became the proud symbol of an airline that continued to gain acceptance as one of the most efficient in the world.

(via Israel21c)

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