As of today (October 19), Etihad Airways is the first GCC carrier to operate a commercial passenger flight to and from Israel.
The historic flight, flown in partnership with the Maman Group, departs Tel Aviv today, operated by an Etihad Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft for the three-and-a-half-hour journey from Israel to the UAE. The return journey will depart Abu Dhabi on October 21.
As a travel trade mission, the flight will bring a group of tourism industry leaders, key corporate decision makers, travel agents, and cargo agents, along with media, to experience Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE, at the invitation of Etihad Airways and representatives of Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry.
This is the latest development in a growing cooperation between the two nations, following the establishment of diplomatic ties, and the signing of the Abraham Accords between the UAE and Israel in Washington D.C. on September 15. It also follows Israeli national airline El Al’s first symbolic commercial flight between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi on August 31.
Chairman, Etihad Aviation Group, HE Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei stated: “Today’s flight is a historic opportunity for the development of strong partnerships here in the UAE and in Israel, and Etihad Airways is delighted to be leading the way. We are just starting to explore the long-term potential of these newly forged relationships, which will be sure to greatly benefit the economies of both nations, particularly in the areas of trade and tourism, and ultimately the people who call this diverse and wonderful region home.”
As an important facilitator of trade, the flights between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi will also carry commercial cargo sourced from, and destined for, points across Etihad Airways’ global network, in addition to commercial guests.