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  • A plane takes off at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, July 27, 2019.

    A plane takes off at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, July 27, 2019. | Photo: EFE

Published 11 September 2020
Opinion

It is a significant policy shift for until now Israel has not had diplomatic relations with any country in the Gulf.

Airline Israir Thursday announced that it will offer direct flights from Tel Aviv's to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after these countries agreed to normalize diplomatic ties last month.

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This is a move that aims to burgeon tourism. Israelis can visit Abhu Dhabi without having to go through quarantine for two weeks on their return.

It is also a significant policy shift for until now Israel has not had diplomatic relations with any country in the Gulf, mainly due to their support to the Palestinian cause.

“In recent weeks, the airline has witnessed an increase in the demand from the Israeli public to return to flying and vacationing in countries that Israelis are allowed to enter without the obligation of isolation,” Israir's Marketing Vice-President Gil Stav said.

Even when as of today flights are on the Tel Aviv-Abhu Dhabi route only, Stav did not rule out the possibility that in the near future the route will be in both directions

Last week, Senior White House Counsel Jared Kushner told reporters that Saudi Arabia and Bahrain will allow all flights to and from Israel to use their airspace.

 “All this will cut down a lot of the travel time between different countries that [will] allow people from Saudi to go to Europe faster if they fly over Israel and people [traveling] from Israel to Asia and Asia to Israel to have much more connectivity,” he added.

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