UAE’s flydubai to start direct flights to Israel

Budget carrier says it will operate twice-daily services between Dubai and Tel Aviv starting this month.

An aircraft (front) owned by 'Fly Dubai'
Flydubai says it will operate 14 weekly services between Dubai and Tel Aviv from November 26 [Ali Haider/EPA]

United Arab Emirates airline flydubai has said it will start direct flights to Israel this month with twice-daily services between Dubai and Tel Aviv.

The announcement on Wednesday came after the Gulf state in August agreed to establish formal diplomatic ties with Israel, including launching direct flights between the two countries.

Dubai state-owned flydubai will operate 14 weekly services between the UAE’s and Israel’s financial capitals from November 26, it said on its website.

Tickets for the flights – the first regular commercial service between the two cities – were now on sale.

Dubai’s Emirates, the UAE’s biggest airline, will sell tickets on the flydubai service through a codeshare agreement between the carriers, an Emirates spokeswoman said.

UAE and Israeli citizens are able to visit each others’ country without applying for a visa before travelling as part of agreements recently signed between the two states.

Israeli airlines Israir and Arkia have advertised packages to Dubai for flights starting on December 9, but say they are yet to receive final approval for the flights.

El Al Israel Airlines, the country’s biggest airline, has not advertised flights. The aviation industry is enduring its worst crisis after the coronavirus pandemic this year crippled most flights.

El Al and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways have recently operated flights between the two countries carrying official delegations.

The UAE is the third Arab country to normalise ties with Israel following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994. However, its move was quickly followed by Bahrain and Sudan followed suit last month.

The agreements have been roundly condemned by the Palestinians, who have accused the Arab states of “betrayal”.

Source: News Agencies