On Monday, in a historic development, Israel’s El Al Airlines will fly its first flight to the United Arab Emirates by a commercial carrier, said a spokesman for the airline.
Ties between both countries have forged ahead as they surge ahead to normalize ties.
The direct flight between Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport and the UAE’s Abu Dhabi will be carrying an Israeli delegation along with top aides of U.S. President Donald Trump, who helped broker the August 13 deal between the two countries.
According to a U.S. official, Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner will be among the U.S. officials on the El Al flight, which is scheduled to depart on August 31 at 10 a.m. (0700 GMT).
In a statement, El Al spokesman said, a return flight from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, thus confirming mentioned in the website of the Israel Airports Authority (IAI).
IAI has listed the flight number for the outbound leg as “LY 971” and the return leg as “LY 972”, a nod to the UAE and Israel’s respective country codes.
“Next week for the first time there will be a commercial flight to Abu Dhabi. This is exactly what peace for peace looks like,” tweeted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday.
Since there aren’t any official air links between Israel and the UAE, it remains to be seen whether El Al will be allowed to fly over Saudi Arabia to cut down on flight time.
Saudi Arabia does not have any official ties with Israel,.
According to a U.S. official, the exact flight route and landing time were still being worked on.
Incidentally, in May 2020, Etihad Airways took off from UAE and landed in Tel Aviv to deliver coronavirus related supplies to Palestinians, marking the first known flight by a UAE carrier to Israel.
The Israel-UAE deal awaits negotiations on details including opening of embassies, travel and trade links before it is officially signed.