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Arkia Airlines has received approval from the Shin Bet, as well as Israeli and Jordanian aviation authorities, to operate flights to and from Aqaba.

The flights will operate with specific security procedures. Return flights from Aqaba will be permitted to take off only after nightfall.

Arkia plans to start charter flights to Aqaba next month. At this stage, Arkia plans two flights per week to the Jordanian resort city, which neighbors Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba.

Arkia is Israel's leading carrier for flights to Amman. Therefore, Arkia officials foresee no challenges in operating flights to Aqaba.

In response to a Haaretz query, an Arkia official said he saw no contradiction between Arkia's service to Aqaba and Arkia's ongoing effort to prevent El Al from operating internal flights to Eilat.

He added that Aqaba is an attractive destination with modern hotels and clean beaches. He said that Aqaba could become a popular tourist destination for Israeli Arabs from the north.