Etihad Airways will make history today as the first GCC carrier to operate a commercial passenger flight to and from Israel.
The service, operated by an Etihad Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft and flown in partnership with the Maman Group, will bring Israel’s top travel and tourism leaders from Tel Aviv to the UAE today. The return journey will depart Abu Dhabi on October 21.
As a travel trade mission, the flight will bring a group of tourism industry leaders, key corporate decision makers, travel agents, cargo agents and key media to experience Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE at the invitation of Etihad Airways and representatives of Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry.
This is the latest development in a growing cooperation between the two nations following the establishment of diplomatic ties and the signing of the Abraham Accords between the UAE and Israel in Washington DC on September 15. It also follows Israeli national airline El Al’s first symbolic commercial flight between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi on August 31.
“Today’s flight is a historic opportunity for the development of strong partnerships here in the UAE, and in Israel, and Etihad as the national airline, is delighted to be leading the way,” said His Excellency Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman, Etihad Aviation Group.
“We are just starting to explore the long-term potential of these newly forged relationships, which will be sure to greatly benefit the economies of both nations, particularly in the areas of trade and tourism, and ultimately the people who call this diverse and wonderful region home.”
As an important facilitator of trade, the flights between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi will also carry commercial cargo sourced from, and destined for, points across Etihad’s global network.
Coinciding with the first commercial flight, Etihad has become the first non-Israeli airline in the Middle East to launch a dedicated website for the Israeli market in Hebrew.
Also available in English, the Israeli version of the airline’s official website contains digital content including extensive information on Etihad’s operations, product, services and network. The site also includes an Abu Dhabi destination guide.