Etihad Airways celebrated the official inauguration of its new, regular route between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv in Israel on April 6, 2021.
Complementing the new service, on Monday April 5, Israel was added to Abu Dhabi’s ‘green list’, granting travellers from the country a quarantine-free experience in the UAE capital city.
The new flights mark a significant step in developing diplomatic, trade and tourism ties between Israel and the UAE, which were inked as part of the Abraham Accords in September 2020.
Group chief executive officer, Etihad Aviation Group, Tony Douglas commented on the occasion: “Today is a hugely significant moment in Etihad’s history, as we operate our first scheduled commercial flight into Tel Aviv. Last year, we witnessed the UAE and Israel make history when signing the Abraham Accords, and we are tremendously excited about the opportunities this poses to Etihad, and our home Abu Dhabi.
“On our inaugural flight today, we were delighted to welcome representatives from some of the UAE’s finest tourism and hospitality operators. These business leaders will not only showcase Abu Dhabi as a world-leading tourism destination, but also reinforce the emirate’s robust and united response towards wellness,” he added.
As well as connecting with the UAE, passengers travelling from Tel Aviv can make the most of onward connecting flights to 35 destinations spanning the globe, including major cities across Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Australia.
The new, twice weekly route between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv is operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, offering 290 seats.
Etihad Airways and Israel’s national carrier, EL AL, are continuing preparations for wide-ranging cooperation on the route and beyond. The two carriers signed a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2020 covering codeshare on each other’s operations, a frequent flyer tie-up and cooperation in cargo, training and maintenance services.