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UAE flag carrier Emirates to launch daily Dubai-Tel Aviv flights

Planes will leave Dubai in the afternoon and complete the round trip before midnight; service to begin December 6; airfreight also planned

An Emirates airline cabin crew member poses on one of the United Arab Emirates flag-carrier planes. (Emirates Airlines PR)
An Emirates airline cabin crew member poses on one of the United Arab Emirates flag-carrier planes. (Emirates Airlines PR)

Emirates is to start daily flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv in December, the airline announced, in the latest sign of deepening relations since the United Arab Emirates and Israel normalized ties in September last year.

The Dubai-based carrier, one of the largest in the world and one of the UAE’s flag-carrying airlines, said the new service would link Israel “seamlessly” with its global route network of over 120 destinations.

Starting December 6, flights tagged as EK931 will depart Dubai at 14:50 local time and arrive at Ben Gurion Airport at 16:25 local time. Return flights, tagged EK932, will leave Tel Aviv at 18:25 and reach Dubai at 23:35 local time.

Emirates said it will use its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for the flights, offering first, business and economy class seats. Kosher meals will be available upon request.

“The flight timings to/from Tel Aviv will offer travelers convenient access to major leisure destinations beyond Dubai like Thailand, the Indian Ocean Islands and South Africa, among others,” the airline said in a statement.

Services will also enable inbound connections to Tel Aviv on Emirates flights from nearly 30 locations across Australia, the US, Brazil, Mexico, India, and South Africa, which, the statement noted, are all homes to large Jewish communities.

An Emirates airine Boeing 777 jet. (Emirates Airlines PR)

Emirates passengers will be given access to a codeshare arrangement with the Flydubai airline, enabling direct connections to a combined total of 210 destinations in 100 countries.

“Emirates will provide more options for travelers to fly better to and from Tel Aviv via Dubai,” Adnan Kazim, the chief commercial officer of Emirates, said in the statement. “We also look forward to welcoming more business and leisure travelers from Israel to Dubai, and onwards to other destinations on Emirates’ network.”

Kazim said Emirates will also offer airfreight services of up to 20 tons capacity to support exports of “pharmaceuticals, high-tech goods, vegetables and other perishables from Tel Aviv.”

Cargo flights will also carry manufacturing raw materials, semiconductors and e-commerce parcels, he said.

Low-cost carrier Flydubai launched the first commercial flights between Tel Aviv and Dubai just a few months after last year’s agreement. Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad and Israeli carrier Arkia now also offer regular flights.

A business-class seat on an Emirates airline plane. (Emirates Airlines PR)

The UAE’s normalization of its relations with Israel, in a deal brokered by then US president Donald Trump’s administration, broke with decades of Arab consensus that ties with Israel depend on resolving the conflict with the Palestinians. The so-called Abraham Accords, which were signed in September 2020 and eventually included Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, infuriated the Palestinians and their supporters.

Israel and the UAE have since opened reciprocal embassies.

Ties between Israel and the UAE are also set to reach higher than the atmosphere after last month the two countries finalized an agreement to collaborate on a number of space projects, including a joint launch of the “Beresheet 2” unmanned space mission to the moon

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