UAE's Flydubai Starts Dubai-Tel Aviv Services After Detente

Dubai state-owned flydubai will operate twice-daily fights between the UAE's and Israel's financial capitals - Dubai and Tel Aviv - the airline said this month ■ UAE and Israeli citizens need not apply for a visa before traveling

Reuters
Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Passengers walk through Ben Gurion International Airport upon landing in Israel on a United Arab Emirates airline flydubai flight, near Tel Aviv, November 26, 2020.
Passengers walk through Ben Gurion International Airport upon landing in Israel on a United Arab Emirates airline flydubai flight, near Tel Aviv, November 26, 2020.Credit: Amir Cohen / Reuters
Reuters
Reuters

United Arab Emirates airline flydubai started direct passenger flights to Israel on Thursday after the two countries normalized ties in a Washington-brokered deal.

Israel and the UAE agreed in August to establish diplomatic relations, paving the way for economic cooperation. Bahrain and Sudan have also agreed to forge formal ties with Israel in deals brokered by the Trump administration and promoted as a strategic Middle East shift that isolates Iran.

Dubai state-owned flydubai will operate twice-daily fights between the UAE's and Israel's financial capitals – Dubai and Tel Aviv – the airline said this month.

Dubai's Emirates, the UAE's biggest airline, will sell tickets on the flydubai service through a codeshare agreement between the carriers, an Emirates spokeswoman said.

The detente comes at a time when the aviation industry is in crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Israel, whose borders have been largely been closed to foreign nationals since the pandemic outbreak, has seen its tourism take a sharp dive.

UAE and Israeli citizens are now able to visit each others' country without applying for a visa before travelling.

"This opens up trade, economy, tourism and makes for a truly new Middle East, it is a meeting of two peoples," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a welcoming ceremony for the flight at Ben Gurion Airport.

El Al Israel Airlines said on Monday it would operate 14 weekly flights from Tel Aviv to Dubai from December 13. Smaller rivals Arkia and Israir have said they plan to begin flights to Dubai next month.

El Al and the UAE's Etihad Airways signed a deal last week to explore deeper cooperation such as joint code-sharing between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv and other destinations.

Etihad has said it intends to start daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv on March 28 next year.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

Relatives mourn during the funeral of four teenage Palestinians from the Nijm family killed by an errant rocket in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, August 7.

Why Palestinian Islamic Jihad Rockets Kill So Many Palestinians

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op