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American Airlines Blames $20M Loss for Scrapping Philadelphia Israel Flight

American Airlines is canceling its lone route to Israel solely because it was losing money on it, the airline told JTA.

“Over the last year, the route lost more than $20 million,” Casey Norton, the airline’s director of corporate communications, told JTA in an email of the Philadelphia-Tel Aviv flight. “In fact, the route has not made an annual profit since it was started in 2009.

“Some international routes require an investment of resources until they stabilize and begin to demonstrate growth, but the revenue demand for our flights to Tel Aviv could never overcome the substantial costs.”

American announced late last week that it was canceling the route, reportedly without informing Israeli officials in advance.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter called on the airline to reverse its decision, in part because Nutter has been working to develop economic ties between the city and Israeli companies.

Israel has not officially commented on the cancellation of the route.

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