MIAMI – Following the recent Israel-UAE agreement, the first commercial flight by FlyDubai (FZ) between both countries took place on November 26. Operated with a Boeing 737 the flight completed a round trip between Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Ben Gurion Airport (TLV).

From DXB to TLV, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed passengers by calling the flight the “realization of a dream.” 200 Israelis boarded the flight from Tel Aviv to Dubai holding signs with the message “Welcome to Dubai.” After the inaugural service, FZ will operate twice-daily this route.

This flight marks the beginning of a new foreign policy between Israel and UAE, as the former ratified a common visa exemption deal. Both countries have agreed to launch direct flights starting in December. Israel also signed an agreement with Bahrain to start air commercial operations.

A flydubai airliner lands at Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel on November 26, 2020. Photo: © Reuters / Emil Salman / Pool.

A Small but Significant Route

According to Simple Flying, the flight recorded a distance of 1,152 nautical miles. This encompasses a minor air route compared to the previous one when there were not Israel-UAE flight permissions. This included a route up around Syria through Turkey.

While the route is part of the reached agreement between the two nations, this is not the first time FZ has flown to TLV. At the beginning of November, the carrier offered a special charter flight for tourists under the mandatory COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Previously, El Al Israel Airlines (LY) and Etihad Airways (EY) had operated Israel-UAE commercial flights. The former in August and the latter in October. However, FZ’s recent flight is the maiden commercial air operation between both nations under the Abraham Accord.

The agreement signed in September not only involves an air travel between the countries but also a major cooperation between the committed airlines. Under this framework, LY and EY had already entered into a partnership to offer joint training for the flights.

Featured photo: A FlyDubai Boeing 737-800 lands at Dubai International Airport. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace / AFP.