Philip Levine to fly El Al inaugural direct flight from Miami to Tel Aviv - Florida Politics

Philip Levine to fly El Al inaugural direct flight from Miami to Tel Aviv

After a nine-year interregnum, El Al Israel Airlines will resume nonstop flights from Miami to Tel Aviv, Israel, this weekend.

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine expects to be on that inaugural flight as it travels back to Israel.

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In May, Miami International Airport and El Al officials made it official. Starting in November, the Miami Herald reported, the Israeli-based airline would begin offering three weekly nonstop flights from Miami to Tel Aviv.

El Al previously provided that trip, but the direct flight was canceled in September 2008.

“Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine recognized early on the importance of a nonstop connection between Israel and Florida and worked to make it happen,” says David Maimon, president and CEO of El Al Israel Airlines.

“This is only the first step in creating a true high-tech hub for Florida, as we get laser-focused on developing the next wave of positive and forward-thinking entrepreneurship for our community,”  Levine said in a statement. “Israel is rightfully known as the startup nation — as we look toward the future, it is only fitting that we ensure Florida is well positioned to be the startup state.”

Levine will be leaving the country Saturday, just days after he is expected to announce his candidacy for Florida governor. A news conference is scheduled in Miami Wednesday for what advisers are calling a “special announcement.”

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.
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