Etihad Airways has launched its first flight to Israel, marking the start of the carrier’s regular Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv service.

At the same time, Israel has been added Abu Dhabi’s ‘green list’, permitting quarantine-free travel for visitors from Israel to Abu Dhabi.

The launch of scheduled operations comes as the next historic step in developing diplomatic, trade and tourism ties between Israel and the UAE, which were inked as part of the Abraham Accords in September 2020.

Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways EY598, the first scheduled flight from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Ben Gurion International Airport, took to the skies on Tuesday.

The route will initially be operated twice weekly by one of Etihad’s flagship aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, featuring 290 seats, Etihad’s e-box entertainment system and in-flight Wi-Fi.

Etihad and the national carrier of Israel, EL AL, are continuing preparations for wide-ranging cooperation on the route, and beyond. The partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2020 covering codeshare on each other’s operations, a frequent flyer tie-up and cooperation in cargo, training and maintenance services.