Flydubai launches first scheduled Dubai-Tel Aviv flight

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United Arab Emirates in September signed a deal to normalise relations with Israel, the primary such settlement by an Arab state within the Gulf.

Price range airline flydubai on Thursday launched direct flights to Tel Aviv, the primary scheduled industrial service between the 2 cities, following the normalisation of ties between the UAE and Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can be readily available for the arrival of the inaugural flight after its almost four-hour journey, his spokesman mentioned.

“PM Netanyahu will attend this morning the welcoming ceremony for the primary @flydubai industrial flight that can arrive at Ben-Gurion Worldwide Airport,” Ofir Gendelman mentioned in a tweet.

“These are the fruits of peace Pricey Emirati vacationers, welcome to Israel!”

The United Arab Emirates in September signed a US-brokered deal to formalise relations with Israel, the primary such settlement by an Arab state within the Gulf.

With their economies exhausting hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the UAE and Israel are hoping for fast dividends from the normalisation deal, together with an inflow of vacationers as Dubai enters its winter excessive season.

“The beginning of scheduled flights will contribute to financial improvement and create additional alternatives for funding,” flydubai CEO Ghaith al-Ghaith mentioned when the service was introduced earlier this month.

The Dubai provider will fly the route twice every day, and Israeli airways El Al and Israir are each anticipated to launch their industrial companies between the cities subsequent month.

Etihad Airways, primarily based within the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, has mentioned it’s going to start flying to Tel Aviv in March 2021.

The scheduled flights come because the UAE reportedly stopped issuing new visas to residents of 13 largely Muslim-majority international locations, together with Iran, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Somalia, in line with a doc issued by a state-owned enterprise park.

The doc, which was despatched to firms working within the park and was seen by the Reuters information company, cited an immigration round that got here into impact on November 18.

It mentioned functions for brand new employment and go to visas have been suspended till additional discover for nationals exterior the UAE from international locations together with Afghanistan, Libya, and Yemen.

‘Stab within the again’

The UAE turned solely the third Arab nation to normalise ties with Israel, following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

The 2 international locations have already signed treaties on visa-free journey – though that’s but to return into power – together with accords on funding safety, science and know-how.

For the reason that historic settlement, Bahrain and Sudan have adopted go well with and agreed to forge ties.

The agreements shattered a long-standing Arab consensus that there needs to be no normalisation with Israel till it reaches a complete peace take care of the Palestinians.

Officers from the Palestinian Authority have condemned the normalisation offers as a “stab within the again” by the Arab states.

A number of Gulf Arab states have for years been quietly constructing relations with Israel on the premise of shared animosity in direction of Iran, with the US supporting the method.

Regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia has up to now avoided formalising ties with Israel however has given the inexperienced gentle to overflights from the Jewish state, in an implicit signal of approval.

After the UAE deal was introduced by President Donald Trump in August, El Al flew a delegation of US and Israeli officers – led by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner – to Abu Dhabi in an historic direct service between the 2 international locations.

That was adopted by an official go to by a UAE delegation to Tel Aviv in addition to a string of constitution flights carrying enterprise teams.