The national airline of the United Arab Emirates is launching its first-ever daily route to Israel — two months after the countries established diplomatic ties.
Etihad Airways served Tel Aviv for the first time on Oct. 19, and now plans to operate the trip on a daily basis starting March 28, 2021, the carrier said in a statement.
“Following the signing of the new bilateral agreement, Etihad is delighted to announce a direct link between these important cities,” Etihad chief operating officer Mohammad Al Bulooki said in a statement.
The flight into Abu Dhabi will be specifically timed to provide connections to China, India, Thailand and Australia, officials said.
The airline joins Flydubai as the second Emirati airline to provide service to Israel. Another airline, Emirates, told CNBC it is also contemplating joining them.
“Everybody’s expecting quite a lot of business activity or tourist activity as the two countries mesh the new relationship,” Emirates president Tim Clark told the network.
“The likelihood of the Israeli-origin passengers moving across our network in other parts of our network is clear and present, so we are just deciding how best to go about that.”
The UAE, Bahrain and Israel signed the historic US-brokered “Abraham Accords” at the White House in September.
As part of the deal, the two majority-Muslim countries agreed to recognize Israel and establish normal diplomatic relations with its government.
“We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history,” President Trump said at the signing.
“After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East.”
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