Emirates is to fly double-daily between Dubai and Tel Aviv from October 30 in response to ‘high demand’ from Israeli passengers wanting to travel to the United Arab Emirates and further afield on connecting flights.
The decision to add a second daily flight on a Boeing 777-300 aircraft was made little more than a month after Emirates launched flights to Tel Aviv for the first time ever.
The second daily flight from Tel Aviv to Dubai will operate in the morning, opening up additional connecting flights to a multitude of destinations including Auckland, Brisbane, Perth, Bali, Seoul, and Singapore.
The rapid expansion of flights on this now popular route is remarkable given the fact that formal diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE were only formalised in September 2020.
An air services agreement was thrashed out several weeks later and direct flights commenced with Israeli low-cost carrier Israir operating the first flight from Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport to Dubai International Airport on December 1, 2020.
The Dubai government initially took a cautious approach to this new market launching direct flights with flydubai rather than Emirates. Several attempts to get Emirates into the market had to be delayed due to pandemic restrictions and it wasn’t until June 23 that the airline eventually started to fly to Israel.
Although Emirates is witnessing a surge in demand on this route, there have been teething problems between Israeli and Emirati officials. In the very early days, Israelis complained of issues getting visas on arrival in Dubai, and earlier this year Israel’s Shin Bet Security Service threatened to ban airlines from flying from Dubai to Tel Aviv.
The dispute centred on an insistence from Shin Bet that its own security officials should be allowed to operate out of Dubai Airport in the same way that multiple other countries allow. Local authorities in Dubai had resisted having Israeli security guards on the ground at DXB, whereas neighbouring Abu Dhabi had no such concerns.
Shin Bet had considered moving all Israeli airline flights from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, and banning Emirati airlines but a deal was hammered out before any flights were grounded.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.