Arkia offering flights to Dubai with 149 $
Arkia offering flights to Dubai with 149 $

Last week, Etihad Airways launched its first commercial flight from the United Arab Emirates to Israel's Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv.

 

Arkia, the second largest airline in Israel, has announced direct flight services to Dubai from January 3, 2021, starting at $ 149 (about 547 AED) for a one-way ticket.

This announcement is the first made by an Israeli airline for regular direct commercial flights to the UAE since the landmark peace agreement was signed between the two countries on September 15.

Last week, Etihad Airways launched its first commercial flight from the United Arab Emirates to Israel's Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv, becoming the first airline in the Gulf to operate a commercial passenger flight to and from Israel. The flight arrived without passengers, but it later transferred an Israeli delegation for travel and tourism to Abu Dhabi.

On August 31, the Israeli national carrier El Al announced the launch of the first cargo flights from Tel Aviv to Dubai. The announcement came a few days after the airline operated its first flight between the two countries, which has flown several senior Trump administration officials accompanying Israeli government officials to Abu Dhabi for talks with their Emirati counterparts.

Arkia CEO Oz Berlowitz said in a statement that the decision to start direct flights to Dubai came after "an increase in orders from airline customers and private corporate clients and numerous requests from conference organizing groups." The journey will cover the distance between Tel Aviv and Dubai in three to four hours.

The Israeli airline is also studying the possibility of launching flights to Bahrain and Sharjah. The statement said the airlines are awaiting approval from the authorities, which is expected to be issued soon.

Arkia has signed deals with UAE tourism companies to offer holiday packages.

The Arkia announcement came shortly after the two countries agreed to enable 28 direct weekly flights between their airports.

The carrier said it will initially operate the Tel Aviv - Dubai route daily from January 3, through March 2021. Arkia's reservation engine indicates that Embraer 195s will be operational on the road. The airline's fleet also includes Airbus A321neo twinjets.

Besides the air services agreement with the United Arab Emirates, the Israeli government recently signed an agreement with the Jordanian authorities to enable overflights in the airspace of the two countries. According to Iata, the agreement will travel an average of 106 kilometers eastbound and 118 kilometers westbound between the Gulf states and Asia to destinations in Europe and North America. Direct routes will reduce passenger travel times by about 20 minutes.

Last week, a high-ranking Emirati delegation paid a historic visit to Israel, seeking to facilitate the opening of embassies in Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi.

The UAE delegation signed four bilateral agreements with Israel, including a visa waiver agreement.

This Visa Exemption Treaty, which needs to be ratified by both countries before it enters into force, is the first agreement of its kind between Israel and an Arab country.

On Thursday, the Knesset overwhelmingly approved the Israeli normalization deal with the UAE, with the guarantee of ratification in the near future.