UAE-Israel relations take off with aviation deal, includes 28 weekly Tel Aviv flights

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UAE-Israel relations are taking off with the signing of an air transportation agreement that allows for 28 passenger flights per week from the UAE to Tel Aviv.

The countries’ civil aviation authorities signed an air transport services agreement on Tuesday during a bilateral meeting held at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, which marked the first UAE delegation to Israel.

Flights between the UAE and Israel are expected to start in a matter of weeks. Under the agreement, Emirati airlines will be able to operate 28 passenger flights to Tel Aviv each week, as well as an unlimited amount of flights to the Israeli southern city of Eilat.

The agreement will “strengthen the bilateral air transport relations between the two countries,” said Emirati state news agency WAM.

UAE Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri and Israeli Minister of Transport Israel Katz signed the agreement and discussed cooperation in the field of civil aviation.

The first Israeli trade delegation to the UAE upon their arrival in Dubai. (Twitter)
The first Israeli trade delegation to the UAE upon their arrival in Dubai. (Twitter)

“The agreement is an important step towards creating positive and beneficial relations between the two countries, following the signing of the Abrahamic Peace Accord that aims to establish the foundations of peace, achieve development and create opportunities for economic and social development in the region,” Al Marri said.

The new agreement is expected promote tourism and trade between the two countries.

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On Monday the first ever passenger flight from the UAE to Israel landed near Tel Aviv, one month after the countries signed an agreement normalizing ties. Only flight crew were on board.

The flight was operated by Etihad Airways, which became the first Gulf airline to operate a civilian flight to Israel.

Three other agreements were signed on Tuesday between the UAE and Israel regarding promotion and protection of investments, science and innovation, and visa exemptions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the UAE and Israel will allow their citizens to travel between countries without visas.

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