The first passenger flight between the UAE and Israel flew near Tel Aviv on Monday, a month after the countries signed an agreement that normalized relations.
Etihad Airways flight EY 9607 from Abu Dhabi landed early in the morning at Ben-Gurion Airport with only the crew, a spokesperson for the Israel Airports Authority told AFP.
The spokesman said the plane picked up Israeli tourism professionals, who were heading to the UAE for a two-day trip organized by Israeli company Maman Group.
The UAE carrier said it made “history”.
The airline said on Twitter: “Etihad has become the first Gulf airline to operate a passenger flight to Israel. And this is only the beginning.”
Today we are making history. Etihad became the first Gulf airline to operate a passenger flight to Israel. And this is only the beginning…
Hi and Shalom! pic.twitter.com/KT66QFfqmg
– Etihad Airways (@etihad) October 19, 2020
Etihad planes landed in Ben-Gurion with medical supplies in May and June to help Palestinians cope with the coronovirus outbreak.
The Palestinians, who oppose Israel’s deal with the UAE, have refused to receive aid.
In August, Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced that they had reached a deal brokered by the United States to normalize relations after years of economic and security cooperation.
Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, ratified the UAE’s deal last week.
An official from the Ministry of Transportation said the UAE and Israel were set to sign an agreement for 28 weekly commercial flights between the countries on Tuesday.
On Sunday in Manama, Israel and Bahrain signed an agreement to establish relations, allowing the UAE and Bahrain to join the third and fourth Arab states only to normalize their relations with Israel, with Israel in 1979. After the peace agreement and the 1994 agreement with Jordan.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)