UAE - The first scheduled passenger flight from Dubai to Israel will take off from the Dubai International Airport at 9.40 on Thursday morning.
Flydubai FZ1163 will land at the Ben Gurian airport in Tel Aviv at 11.35am (Local Time) after a four-hour-long journey.
Khaleej Times is onboard the maiden journey on the first commercial service, along with a flydubai delegation and Israeli citizens, who are flying home from Dubai. Both flydubai and Etihad airline have carried official Israeli delegations to the country in the past months but this is the first time, a UAE airline is operating a commercial service.
Dubai-state-owned flydubai will have two daily flights to Tel Aviv, and tickets are on sale for the first commercial service.
UAE and Israeli citizens can visit each other’s country without applying for visas as both countries have agreed on a visa-free travel.
Flight operations have begun between the two countries after the UAE and Israel signed the historic Abraham Accords on September 15, normalising relations with Israel. In exchange of the US-brokered deal, Israel has agreed to halt annexations in the West Bank. UAE and Israel have signed many partnership agreements since then, and airlines are also expecting a surge in air travel as both countries have opened up to business and tourism.
Abu Dhabi national airline Etihad and Dubai’s Emirates Airlines have also announced passenger service to Israel starting January. Israeli airlines Israir and Arkia will also soon start operations in Dubai on January 3.
Tel Aviv is under a partial lockdown due to the rising coronavirus cases. Israel has around 9000 daily cases and the country has reported more than 300,000 infections since the outbreak.
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