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    Monday, August 31, 2020

    Historic Flight from Israel to UAE Takes off, Carrying Israeli, U.S Delegations

    Israel’s national airline carrier El Al will operate the first commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi on Monday following a US-brokered normalization pact between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) earlier this month.

    The flight was listed on the Israel Airports Authority’s website on Friday as ELY 971, to take off in the morning hours of Monday, August 31, and the return flight, ELY 972, from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv, is set for Tuesday morning. The flights numbers are a nod to the countries’ respective calling codes: +971 for the UAE, and +972 for Israel.

    Israeli and American officials were leaves for Abu Dhabi on a historic first El Al flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates that will fly over Saudi Arabia on Monday 31st August morning.

    It will be the first-ever direct commercial flight from Israel to the UAE and the first Israeli airline to fly over Saudi airspace, a person familiar with the matter said.

    The flight took off at around 11:30 a.m. and is expected to last just over three hours. The flight is operating by a EL AL B737-900, registration 4X-EHD.

    The plane designated for the flight was adorned with the word “peace” in Arabic, Hebrew and English in honor of the historic moment.

    Among those expected to be on the flight are White House Special Adviser Jared Kushner, US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, US Special Representative for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz, US Iran envoy Brian Hook, an Israeli delegation led by National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat and top Israeli officials in the areas of tourism, trade and energy.

    Arabs and Muslims across the world should watch the airplane flying from Israel to the United Arab Emirates on Monday as a sign of what is possible through peace, Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, said just before boarding the historic flight.
    It was the first-ever direct flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates by an Israeli commercial airline on Monday morning.

    "I prayed yesterday at the [Western] Wall that Muslims and Arabs from throughout the world will be watching this flight recognizing that we are all children of god and that the future does not have to predetermined by the past," Kushner said. "This is a very hopeful time and I believe that so much peace and prosperity is possible in this region and throughout the world."

    According to Jerusalem Post, The El Al B737-800 taking off from Tel Aviv on Monday for Abu Dhabi, is equipped with a system to protect aircraft against aerial threats like ground-to-air missiles.

    The Directed IR Countermeasures (DIRCM) manufactured by Elbit Systems defend aircraft by detecting, tracking and jamming incoming infrared threats like heat-seeking ground-to-air missiles and shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, also known as man-portable air defense systems (MANPADs).

    Earlier this week, we have published an analysis on the normalisation of Israel and UAE relationship and its impact to the Middle East Air Carriers.

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