Historic Tel Aviv-Abu Dhabi flight takes off from Ben Gurion Airport
The first-ever commercial flight from Tel Aviv to UAE took off from Ben Gurion Airport, with Israeli and US officials flying to Abu Dhabi to finalize the peace deal between the Jewish State and the United Arab Emirates.
The 737-900 El Al aircraft, named Kiryat Gat in honor of the southern town, will carry a delegation of Israeli and US officials, including senior adviser to President Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, US Special Representative for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz, US Iran envoy Brian Hook, Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat and top Israeli officials in the areas of tourism, trade and energy.
The historic flight will take three hours and 13 minutes and is expected to land in Abu Dhabi at 3:05 pm.
The flight is expected to be allowed to cross Saudi airspace, normally blocked to Israeli air traffic.
The UAE became only the third Arab country in the Middle East to recognize the State of Israel since its founding in 1948.
The Emirati hosts are also gearing up for the historic occasion and have already made sure that the Israeli officials will get kosher food.
On Saturday the UAE repealed a law boycotting Israel which had been in place since 1972, and earlier this month the two countries opened direct telephone services for the first time.
The agreement to normalize relations – brokered by the US – was made public in a surprise announcement on 13 August.