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flydubai to Start Direct Flights Between UAE and Israel from November

flydubai to Start Direct Flights Between UAE and Israel from November

Dubai-based low-cost carrier flydubai has set the date for the start of direct flights from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Israel. The airline announced on Wednesday that it would operate 14 non-stop flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport from November 26 with bookings now open.

The announcement comes just two weeks after the UAE and Israel signed a historic air services agreement – the first ever to have been reached between the two countries after diplomatic relations were normalized in August.

flydubai will operate half of the 28 slots allocated for Emirati airlines on routes between the UAE and Tel Aviv. Both Emirates and Etihad Airways have also shown interest in operating direct services to Israel, although, with Dubai already well-served and an extensive codeshare agreement in place between flydubai and Emirates, any bid for slots is likely to be awarded to Etihad.

Emirati airlines have also been given unlimited access to the Red Sea city of Eilat, popular with holidaymakers and scuba divers.

Despite the clamour to get an air services agreement signed and lots of interest in opening routes between the two countries, it was believed that that Corona crisis would delay the start of flights until the start of 2021 at the earliest. Not so, say’s flydubai chief executive Ghaith Al Ghaith.

“Following the recent bilateral agreement, the start of scheduled flights will contribute to economic development and create further opportunities for investment in pursuit of our shared interests and value,” Al Ghaith commented on Wednesday.

He said he saw opportunities for the route opening up onward connections Indian Ocean, Far East and Africa – reducing total journey times by as much as seven hours.

Flights between the UAE and Israel will also be allowed to fly over Saudi airspace, significantly reducing flight times. While a general Saudi airspace ban remains in force for airlines flying to or from Israel, flights between Israel and the UAE have been given dispensation.

Israeli carrier Arkia plans to commence flights between Tel Aviv and Dubai from January 3, 2021, while Israir was set to start flights in October but this could now be pushed back to December.

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