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Regular flights begin between Israel and UAE

Signaling the beginning of closer economic ties, the first regular commercial flight between ‘Israel’ and UAE has gone into operation.

United Arab Emirates’ state-owned airline flydubai is the first airline to provide the service. It will operate twice-daily flights between UAE and ‘Israel’. Its first flight from Tel Aviv arrived at Dubai International Airport on Thursday evening.

“The start of scheduled flights will contribute to economic development and create further opportunities for investment,” flydubai CEO Ghaith al-Ghaith said when this step was announced earlier this month.

Flydubai aircraft landed in Dubai from Tel Aviv on Thursday, with some 200 Israelis on board, in the return of the first commercial flight to ‘Israel’ by UAE.

“This is a moment of history because it is the first commercial flight between Dubai and Israel,” Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after the flight landed in Tel Aviv.

“There will be many more, going both directions. But you can only be first once,” Netanyahu said at a welcoming ceremony in the arrival hall. “And this is a pivotal moment, because we’re changing history. It’s not that we’re marching forward, we’re flying, with breakneck speed, into a new era that is now clearly changing the Middle East.”

He added, “For me, it’s the realization of a dream.”

UAE and ‘Israel’ can visit each other without applying for visas as both have agreed on a visa-free travel.

This step comes after ‘Israel’ and UAE signed a “peace deal” to normalize ties in September.

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