Etihad Airways, the United Arab Emirates’ national carrier, announced Monday it will start direct flights to the Zionist entity in March 2021 after recent agreement to normalize ties between the two sides.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline “will launch daily scheduled year-round flights to Tel Aviv”, it said in a statement.
It added the service will begin on March 28 — a date that will fall approximately six months after the UAE signed a US-brokered deal to formalize relations with the Zionist entity, the first such accord between a Gulf nation and the Israeli regime.
“The commencement of scheduled flights is a historic moment and as an airline, cements Etihad’s commitment to growing opportunities for trade and tourism,” said Mohammad al-Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer of Etihad Aviation Group, according to the statement.
Dubai’s budget airline flydubai had already announced that it would start direct flights to Tel Aviv this month, operating 14 flights a week.
Unlike Dubai and the other emirates that make up the UAE, Abu Dhabi has placed stringent coronavirus restrictions on entering the city.
The UAE was only the third Arab country to normalize ties with the occupation entity following Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
However, its move was quickly followed by Bahrain and last month Sudan also announced it would normalize ties.