Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Israel is preparing for direct flights between Tel Aviv and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) following normalization agreement between the two countries.
“I would like to inform you that we are now working on allowing direct flights between Tel Aviv and Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” Netanyahu told reporters during a tour at the Ben Gurion Airport, Israel’s international airport outside Tel Aviv.
“It is a very short flight, around three hours,” he said, adding he expects the new route will boost tourism.
The flights will fly over Saudi Arabia, a country with which Israel has no official diplomatic ties at the moment, Netanyahu added.
Israelis will benefit from the UAE’s free trade zone as the UAE “is very interested in massive investments in Israeli technology and importing inexpensive products,” he noted.
A day earlier, Netanyahu said he expected “additional countries” to normalize their relations with Israel despite the long-stalled negotiations with the Palestinians since 2014.
The Israel-UAE deal marks the first diplomatic relations between Israel and a Gulf country. The UAE is the third Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan, to establish official ties with Israel.