Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways' first scheduled flight touches down in Israel
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Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways’ first scheduled flight touches down in Israel

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways’ first scheduled flight touches down in Israel

On board the flight was a diplomatic and economic delegation representing the UAE

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has commenced its regular flight service between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, the first of which took to the skies Tuesday morning.

Flight EY598, took off from Abu Dhabi International Airport at 10.05am local time, carrying a diplomatic and economic delegation comprising of Mohamed Al-Khaja, UAE’s first Ambassador to Israel, Eitan Nae’eh, Israel’s Head of Mission to the UAE, and Tony Douglas, Etihad’s group CEO.

The flight landed at Ben Gurion International Airport at 12.30pm (Israel time), and was received with the traditional water cannon salute, followed by a reception.

Tony Douglas, group chief executive officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Today is a hugely significant moment in Etihad’s history, as we operate our first scheduled commercial flight into Tel Aviv. Last year, we witnessed the UAE and Israel make history when signing the Abraham Accords, and we are tremendously excited about the opportunities this poses to Etihad, and our home Abu Dhabi.

“On our inaugural flight today, we were delighted to welcome representatives from some of the UAE’s finest tourism and hospitality operators.”

The route will be operated by one of Etihad’s flagship aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Etihad will initially offer two weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv.

The return flight, EY599 will bring passengers from Tel Aviv into Abu Dhabi, who will no longer be required to quarantine on arrival, now that Israel has been added to the Abu Dhabi ‘green list’. Passengers travelling from Tel Aviv can also avail of onward connecting flights to 35 destinations worldwide.

Read: Abu Dhabi updates ‘green list’ destinations, includes two new countries

Last month, the UAE and Israel began formal discussions to establish a quarantine-free travel corridor between the two countries.

Israel currently has the highest rate of vaccine doses administered per capita, with more than half of its population having received both doses of the vaccine.

Read: UAE, Israel consider quarantine-free travel corridor for fully vaccinated individuals

Also read: Exclusive: Etihad’s CFO on restructuring, recovery from Covid crisis

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