Historic: 1st Commercial UAE-Israel Flight Lands In Israel

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An Emirati journalist awaits a flyDubai flight from Tel Aviv, Israel, at Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. The low-cost carrier flyDubai began regular flights to Tel Aviv on Thursday, the latest sign of the normalization deal between the United Arab Emirates and Israel. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

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The low-cost carrier FlyDubai began regular flights to Tel Aviv on Thursday, the latest sign of the normalization deal taking hold between the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

FlyDubai flight No. FZ1163 landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport at 11:38 a.m. after a 3 hour, 20 minute flight. It received a water salute by the ground crew. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu then met FlyDubai’s CEO Gaith al-Gaith, who was aboard the flight.

The return flight FZ1164, taking just over 2½ hours, arrived at Dubai International Airport at 6:37 p.m. Israeli tourists waved their Israeli passports to journalists watching them arrive at baggage claim.

Israeli carrier El Al is scheduled to begin flights in December to Dubai, the skyscraper-studded tourist hub of the UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms including Abu Dhabi.

An Israeli passenger from a flyDubai flight from Tel Aviv, Israel, waves his Israeli passport on arrival at Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. The low-cost carrier flyDubai began regular flights to Tel Aviv on Thursday, the latest sign of the normalization deal between the UAE and Israel. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)

The UAE and Israel formalized their efforts to normalize relations in September at a White House event organized by President Donald Trump. The two countries had quiet relations prior, but in the time since, telephone calls now connect between the countries, tourists are starting to arrive and business delegations are seeking deals in both countries.

(AP)