MIAMI – EgyptAir (MS) landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) today, marking the first official direct flight between the two countries since the two nations signed a historic 1979 peace treaty.
Out of fear of public criticism, the airline’s affiliate, AirSinai, has been conducted flights to Israel without the MS logo for decades, according to apnews.com. The flag carrier will now operate three weekly flights with EgyptAir branding between Cairo and Tel Aviv.
The flight took place just two weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett paid his first official visit to Egypt in almost a decade. In a show of strengthening ties between the two countries, he met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in the Sinai tourist town of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Israel rescinded a long-standing travel advisory for its people about visiting Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula in August, in what was considered as a gesture to its strategic partner.
Last week, Bahrain’s GulfAir (GF) launched its first direct route to Israel, bolstering business links created when Israel and four Arab counties signed the “Abraham Accords” last year.
The Israeli Embassy in Cairo tweeted that direct flights are “an important and welcome sign of strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries, especially economic relations.”
Featured image: First official EgyptAir flight at Tel Aviv. Photo: Israeli Embassy via Twitter