By Simcha Abir
The State of Israel’s historic accord with United Arab Emirates is making inroads to new business sectors.
Israel’s first commercial flight to the UAE took off from Ben-Gurion Airport to Dubai International Airport on Tuesday which followed just days after Watergen signed an agreement with Al-Dahra to supply high quality water solutions to the UAE and other countries in the region.
Israir’s landmark flight was rubber-stamped 24 hours earlier when Saudi Arabia granted permission to use its airspace. The flight time for an Airbus A320 on a standard route.
Israir, Arkia and El Al will now operate over 40 weekly flights to Dubai. Israir began yesterday, Arkia today whilst Israel’s national carrier will operate 14 weekly flights beginning next Wednesday.
Israeli travellers can enter the UAE with a passport that allows entry to the destination.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meantime, has welcomed the arrival of an inaugural Flydubai commercial flight to Ben-Gurion International Airport.
“It is a historic flight because it now opens the way for dozens of flights a week to Dubai, to the UAE, Bahrain and the east,” he reportedly noted. “There is a great opening here for trade, the economy and tourism that, in effect, makes for a truly new and different Middle East, a meeting between peoples as well as meeting between leaders.
He added, “We are crumbling the Israeli-Arab conflict and turning it into Israeli-Arab cooperation in order to produce not only a new future but also a new present, and we are doing so with dizzying speed. The entire world is watching and understands that we are making history here.”
Netanyahu welcomed Israel being able to fly over Saudi Arabia airspace. “The circle of normalisation will continue to expand and I say this with great confidence,” he told journalists.
Though nothing is assured, Netanyahu estimates more countries will soon join this circle.
“We are not going back,” Netanyahu noted. “What we are doing here today is historic. The first commercial flight from Dubai to Israel and not the last.”
Netanyahu confirmed there would be dozens of flights in both directions. “This is simply not only changing the future of the Middle East and Israel, it is also changing the present,” he said.
Meanwhile, El Al resumes operations to Brussels and Moscow and Berlin International.
New York Newark Airport and New Jersey will be added to Kennedy (JFK) Airport.
Brussels will operate with a short stopover via Frankfurt. The destinations join flights to Amsterdam, Athens, Frankfurt, Heathrow, Kiev, Los Angeles, Miami, Paris and Zurich.
Entry into Israel is limited to Israeli passport holders with exceptions. Passengers must isolate and if leaving before 14 days must notify authorities.
Dr. Michael Mirilashvili, Watergen president and CEO, and Khadim Al Darei, Al-Dahra co-founder signed an agreement in in Abu Dhabi.
Watergen’s pioneering technology generates drinking water from the air. The alliance will benefit a number of industries including agriculture, office buildings, hotels and maritime.
Al-Dahra operates in over 45 markets across Asia and the Middle East.
Watergen’s machines have been installed around the world including India, China, South Africa and Russia where they were used at the 2018 World Cup finals.