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Direct flights between UAE and Israel to begin “within weeks”

Direct flights between UAE and Israel to begin “within weeks”

The deal reportedly includes 28 direct weekly passenger flights connecting Tel Aviv with Abu Dhabi and Dubai

UAE-ISRAEL-US-DIPLOMACY

Israel and the UAE have agreed on a deal to allow for 28 direct weekly passenger flights connecting Tel Aviv with Abu Dhabi and Dubai, according to a statement from Israel’s Transportation Ministry.

The flights will begin “within weeks” and came after significant commercial interest from airliners on both sides in the routes, the statement said.

Both countries are in the process of developing economic and diplomatic agreements following the decision to normalise relations earlier this year.

On August 31, the first-ever direct commercial flight from Israel to the UAE landed at the presidential airport in Abu Dhabi.

Read: Watch: First direct commercial flight from Israel to the UAE lands in Abu Dhabi

On board that flight was Jared Kushner – son-in-law and Senior Adviser to US President Donald Trump – as well as a delegation of Israelis and Americans.

During their visit, it was agreed upon that the UAE and Israel will cooperate in a number of areas including civil aviation.

Read: Dubai-based NY Koen Group to bid for purchase of Israeli carrier Israir

In a move that paved the way for commercial flights between the two countries to be economically viable, the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority shortly thereafter confirmed that it had obtained approvals from Saudi Arabia to use the kingdom’s airspace for flights arriving or departing the UAE from “all countries”.

Read: Saudi Arabia approves use of airspace for UAE flights to and from all countries

A number of Emirati and Israeli businesses have expressed interests to set up offices in each other’s countries, further requiring the two countries to therefore establish direct flights.

Last week, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received a phone call from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to discuss the progression of bilateral relations following the signing of the historic Abraham Accords on September 15.

With inputs from Bloomberg

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