Why is Israel banned in the UAE

Peace deal good news for Etihad and Emirates

History happened in the middle of the Corona crisis. On May 21 and June 9, Etihad aircraft landed in Tel Aviv twice. The first time it was the Airbus A330 with the registration number A6-EYP, which had a neutral white paint. The second time, the Boeing 787-9 with the registration number A6-BNA appeared quite openly in the full livery of the golf airline.

What would be an everyday occurrence at most airports was a sensation for Israel. Because the country and the United Arab Emirates do not have diplomatic relations. And so there are no flights between the states. That is changing now.

El Al would have to take a huge detour

On Thursday (August 13), the United Arab Emirates and Israel announced that they would establish diplomatic relations. You are “facing many common challenges and will mutually benefit from the historic achievement,” they said. The deal brokered by the USA does not only involve the establishment of embassies in the countries. In addition to many other areas of cooperation, such as the development of tourism, the declaration also explicitly mentions the inclusion of “direct flights”.

Emirates and Etihad could in future offer flights from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Tel Aviv, El Al flights from Tel Aviv to the Persian Gulf. For the Israeli national airline, however, the flights are not that easy. Since neither Saudi Arabia nor Iraq grant Israel overflight rights, El Al would have to fly to the United Arab Emirates with a huge detour.

Turkish Airlines strong in Israel

Etihad and Emirates could benefit twice from the diplomatic thaw. So far, Turkish Airlines is number two in Israel in terms of seats after El Al. Many Israelis switch to long-haul flights in Istanbul when they want to travel to destinations that are not served by any airline directly from Tel Aviv. 85 percent of the passengers who travel from Israel to the Turkish metropolis are transfer passengers to Europe or Asia. Now Abu Dhabi and Dubai are becoming alternatives.