From flydubai to Etihad: All the flights currently scheduled between the UAE and Israel
Flydubai will begin services to Tel Aviv on November 26, followed by El Al, Israir and Arkia in December
Since the signing of the Abraham Accord between Israel and the UAE on September 15, a number of airlines have announced plans to operate flights between the two countries.
Emiratis are currently allowed to travel to Israel for up to 90 days without a visa, as part of a mutual visa waiver deal reached by the two destinations, and flights take about three-and-a-half hours.
Here is a closer look at which airlines are set to jet off to Israel in the coming weeks.
El Al to operate 14 weekly flights to Dubai
This week, El Al Israel Airlines became the latest carrier to unveil its plans for the route. The airline will operate 14 weekly flights from Tel Aviv to Dubai, starting on Sunday, December 13.
While subject to approvals, the Israeli national carrier intends to operate daily flights between the two destinations, with three flights on Sundays and Thursdays, and two on every other day of the week.
Services will be operated on a Boeing 737-900 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
El Al has also signed an agreement with Etihad Airways to introduce codeshare services, which will allow the airlines to expand their global flight networks beyond their hubs.
Etihad to launch flights to Tel Aviv in March
Etihad will commence flights between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv on Sunday, March 28. The national airline of the UAE will operate a daily service from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Ben Gurion International Airport.
Economy fares start from $445 (Dh1,635) for flights that will depart Abu Dhabi at 9.45am, landing in Israel just after noon.
Etihad made history when it operated the first commercial passenger flight by a GCC airline to and from Tel Aviv in October.
“Following the signing of the new bilateral agreement, Etihad is delighted to announce a direct link between these important cities," said Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways's chief operating officer, at the time.
"The commencement of scheduled flights is a historic moment and, as an airline, cements Etihad’s commitment to growing opportunities for trade and tourism not just between the two countries but also within the region and beyond."
Flydubai leads the way
Flydubai will become the first airline to offer scheduled passenger flights between the two countries when it launches its twice-daily service from Dubai International Airport to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport on Thursday, November 26.
Return fares on the budget airline start from Dh1,600 ($435) in economy class departing from Dubai, while business class tickets on the same route start from Dh6,000 ($1,633).
“Following the recent bilateral agreement, the start of scheduled flights will contribute to economic development and create further opportunities for investment in pursuit of our shared interests and values," said Ghaith Al Ghaith, chief executive of Flydubai, when announcing the route.
Sister airline Emirates has yet to reveal plans for the route.
Arkia and Israir to offer daily flights from December
Arkia Israeli Airlines plans to launch daily flights between Tel Aviv and Dubai on Sunday, December 20, with tickets starting from $149. This was brought forward from an original launch date of Sunday, January 3, although it is not yet possible to make a booking on the airline’s website. The services will be operated on an Embraer E-195 E-Jet.
“The decision to open a route to Dubai was made after increasing requests from our customers, private business customers, and many requests from groups and conference organisers,” Oz Berlowitz, Arkia’s chief executive, said in a statement. He also revealed plans to introduce flights to Sharjah in the near future.
Meanwhile, Israir, the biggest tour operator and third biggest airline in Israel, plans to launch daily flights to Dubai from Saturday, December 2, on an Airbus A320. Interestingly, UAE's NY Koen Group has announced that it will be making a bid to purchase Israir at a coming auction.
Updated: November 25, 2020 02:18 PM