Emirates Will Launch Israel Flights By January 2021

Filed Under: Emirates

It looks like we could be just a few months away from Emirates launching flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv

Emirates will fly to Tel Aviv by early 2021

In mid-August we learned that Israel and the United Arab Emirates had agreed to full normalization of relations going forward, which is an exciting development in the Middle East.

This will lead to increased cooperation between the two countries in areas ranging from healthcare to technology, and along with that we’ll also see direct flights launched between the two countries.

I imagine we’ll eventually see EL AL, Emirates, and Etihad, offering service between the two countries. Emirates and Etihad launching service to Israel is especially exciting, given all the new itineraries to points around the globe that this will open up.

Well, it’s now being reported that Emirates has received approval from Ben Gurion Airport in Israel to launch flights in January 2021. We’ll still have to wait to find out the details of the frequencies, exact launch dates, etc., but it does sound like regularly scheduled flights between the two countries will be starting by early 2021, if not earlier.

Flights between the two countries will be allowed to use airspace of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, significantly cutting down travel time compared to the circuitous routing that would otherwise be needed.

A couple of weeks ago EL AL operated its first-ever direct flight to the UAE, as the Israeli flag carrier brought a delegation to Abu Dhabi to start negotiations. It was also the first time an Israeli commercial aircraft used Saudi Arabian airspace.

Emirates will launch Tel Aviv flights in January 2021

Emirates setting up kosher catering facility

In preparation for these new flights, Emirates Flight Catering is launching Kosher Arabia, a dedicated kosher food production facility at the company’s facility in the UAE.

This is the first catering facility in the UAE to become a registered and certified producer of kosher food. While Emirates Flight Catering previously offered kosher meals, this was done via an outsourced supplier, and that will now be brought in-house. Production is expected to begin by January 2021.

As Saeed Mohammed, CEO of Emirates Flight Catering, said:

“We are delighted to enter into an agreement with CCL to provide Kosher food. For many years, EKFC has been offering kosher meals primarily to our airline customers, via an outsourced supplier overseas. We’ve been watching the global trends for kosher food, and with recent developments we expect that demand for kosher food in the UAE and region will grow quickly. Our partnership will cover all food channels and we will also explore opening restaurants across Dubai and the GCC.

By setting up our own capability at EKFC to produce kosher food, we are confident that we can better serve our customers not only in the aviation sector, but also in the hospitality, F&B, and events sector including the upcoming Expo 2020. Making freshly prepared meals here in the UAE gives us better control over meal design and quality assurance.”

Emirates is bringing kosher catering in-house

Bottom line

It’s exciting to see the pace at which relations between Israel and the UAE are normalizing, and that we’ll likely see Emirates launching flights to Israel by January 2021.

I’ll be curious to see what kind of frequencies are allowed as part of this bilateral agreement — are we talking about one daily flight between Emirates and Etihad, or could we see Emirates launch multiple daily frequencies?

In preparation for this, we’re also seeing Emirates introduce kosher catering in-house.

What kind of frequencies do you think Emirates will offer to Israel?

  1. Considering COVID, I can’t imagine that more than 1 frequency will be needed initially.

    But once regular travel resumes, I could see 2 daily flights, considering Israeli’s love to travel to the far east (China, Japan, Thailand) and to down under.

    If Eithad launched flights, I’d image they would be 3-4x a week initally.

  2. Wow Ben! Really disappointed with you sad that you keep on posting these stories about Israel with great excitement and happiness! I have been reading this blog for years and I appreciate that you want to report these news but as a Palestinian sympathiser it is really heartbreaking to see your level of excitement over these things. In the post you mention “In mid-August we learned that Israel and the United Arab Emirates had agreed to full normalization of relations going forward, which is an exciting development in the Middle East.” ,saying this is an exciting development in the Middle East could be true for Israelis it is not for Palestinians. Israel understands that by isolating the Palestinians from their Arab counterparts is something that will weaken them and their struggle and it also understands that making peace’agreements with Arab countries, especially powerful ones like the UAE will drag more countries to sign agreements and will weaken further Palestinian global stands. I encourage you to think more about the things you post. How would you feel if one of your favourite bloggers was celebrating the prohibition of same sex marriage in the US?

  3. Ben gurion airport is extremely intolerant towards any Muslim passenger. Or to be honest any passenger with a muslim name. These flights will have to be operated by non Muslim crew and they will carry non muslim passengers. Or atleast there names should be non arab/ non muslim.

  4. The question is that will Israel give the freedom of movement to muslims coming from UAE as they will enjoy in UAE. I think everyone knows the answer

  5. @lucky, the Israeli government has not been at all protective of the Israeli Airline industry in the past (I.e. open sky agreement with Europe) so it’s hard to imagine whatever deal they strike wouldn’t at least allow for each airline to operate up to two daily flights. In all likelihood though it will probably be an open-skies treaty.

    Also interesting is that to be considered a large airport according to the Airports Council International, you need 25 million PAX annually. In 2019 Israel had 24 million so additional traffic from Emirates and Etihad could finally put TLV over 25 million annually.

  6. Funny that people like Manu squeal with delight that US airlines can now fly to Cuba but implore us to put “human rights” first and reconsider flying to Israel.

    News flash: Lucky is an aviation blogger not a political reporter. If he were to avoid flying to countries accused of perpetrating human rights abuses he wouldn’t be flying anywhere.

  7. If this was a year ago, pre-COVID, I agree that they’d do a minimum of two 777 flights daily, but perhaps more, connecting to departure banks east. TK was doing eight-nine TLV-IST flights before COVID-19, and the vast majority of passengers were connecting: many to Europe and North America, but also a significant number to Thailand and NE Asia, as well as Australia and India.

    EK will hurt TK’s TLV business, no doubt.

  8. Manu —

    Palestinians have no one to blame except themselves (or perhaps their terribly misguided and stubborn leaders). Israel has offered peace time and time again, only to have their attempts spurned.

    Palestinians rejected the 1947 U.N. partition plan which would have created a Palestinian state on a much larger footprint than the one that was left after Israel’s war of independence. They refused to even engage in peace talks after the Arab states were trounced in the Six-Day War. At Camp David in 2000, Israel offered the Palestinians control of 100 percent of Gaza , 92 percent of the West Bank and 3 percent of Israeli territory adjacent to Gaza —and independence. Palestinians were even offered control over East Jerusalem, including most of the Old City and religious sovereignty over the Temple Mount . All Israel asked in return was that Arafat declare the end of conflict. Arafat — in all his inimitable wisdom — refused Israel’s offer and didn’t even bother counter-proposing.

    Israel isn’t isolating Palestinians; they’re doing that all by themselves and rest of the region now is waking up to fact that they were being disadvantaged by the games played by the Palestinians and their proxies. Play silly games, win silly prizes. The UAE and Bahrain (and perhaps a half dozen others) have clearly come to the realization that they’d benefit more from an open relationship with Israel (which only wants peace) than from allowing the Palestinian tail to wag the dog — a people who apparently don’t know what the hell they want.

    You can sympathize all you want, but they’re lying in a bed of their own making.

  9. @facts Offering peace always in exchange of Palestine’s loss of sovereign power you mean? And also the Palestinian State along with 13 other countries rejecting the 1947 UN “peace” plan does not justify Israel’s continuous crimes against humanity. Israel continues to impose institutionalized discrimination against Palestinians living under its rule in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Israeli forces killed 38 Palestinians, including 11 children, during demonstrations in the Gaza Strip and West Bank; many were unlawfully killed while posing no imminent threat to life. Israel failed to ensure accountability and redress for victims of such grave violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. Israeli air strikes and shelling in the Gaza Strip killed 28 Palestinian civilians who were not directly participating in hostilities, including 10 children. Israel maintained its illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip, subjecting its residents to collective punishment and deepening the humanitarian crisis there. It continued to restrict freedom of movement of Palestinians in the OPT through checkpoints and roadblocks. Israeli authorities unlawfully detained in Israel thousands of Palestinians from the OPT, holding hundreds in administrative detention without charge or trial. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees, including children, were committed with impunity. Israel displaced over 900 Palestinians in the West Bank as a result of home demolitions. The authorities used a range of measures to target human rights defenders, journalists and others who criticized Israel’s continuing occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Syrian Golan Heights. The authorities denied asylum-seekers access to a fair or prompt refugee status determination process. Conscientious objectors to military service were imprisoned.

  10. Agree with @ Facts. To quote the late Abba Eban, “the Palestinians never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Game over.

  11. To manu,

    The UAE actually sent humanitarian aid to the “palestinians” with Etihad airways this is not a political blog, you have no problems with Lucky reporting on China airlines when China discriminates against uyghur Muslims.

    The UAE does not need permission from anyone who they want to have relations with, Israel does NOT Isolate anyone, the wall and check points are to stop suicide bombings killings to save the lives of both Muslims and Jews and hopefully when people decide they want to be peaceful those walls and checkpoints will go down.

  12. Israel is a war criminal and the UAE government has no values, integrity or ethics. I wouldn’t describe this as an “exciting” development- disgusting is a more appropriate adjective for what’s happening.

  13. @ FIL
    if you understand the word disgusting you should consider palestinian acts of violence. I find it odd you are not disturbed by thousands of incidents such as beheadings, car rammings and bombing of pizza stores.
    This all began from a comment lamenting airport security which applies to all pax. Security at all airports in the world has one focus, preventing terroristic acts, some of which have been performed by…. palestinians!

  14. @ Skeptical
    Arabs/Muslems are not discriminated against at Israeli airports.
    All passengers are considered terrorists until they are cleared. Those with unclear facts or suspicious electronics take longer. I do not call it discrimination when I get the dreaded SSSS at a US airport, nor was it discrimination when my 5 year old autistic child managed to get the SSSS.
    I am neither an Arab nor Muslim and I get the third degree by Israeli security at a European airport. It was annoying but I flew and forgot, they were doing their job, a job where failure can mean hundreds dead.

  15. At Kahn, Phil and Manu,

    Israel is a pluralistic democracy where if you go with your spouse you can kiss in public and will receive equal treatment under the law in Israel which has more than a million moslem Arab citizens. You can buy land in Israel (no religious restrictions). In the PA it is illegal to sell land to a Jew under penalty of death. That is the definition of Apartheid. In religious moslem countries there is apartheid against women. Now in the occupied territories both Jews and Moslems live under military law. The reason the PA exists is because Israel gave them the land for peace (not Jordan whine the PLO attempted to over through in Black September 1973.). Yasser Arafat rejected peace with 97% of the West Bank (and Gaza) and a passage through Israel between the two. During peace 30% of Palestinians work in Israel. But the second infatada homocide bombings forced Israel to build the wall (which has been quite effective but is not complete). As Golda Meyer said “there will be peace when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us. We can forgive them for killing our children but we can not forgive them for forcing us to kill their children.” That was 1974. As long as the Palestinians teach hate and have a map of all Israel as Palestine (from the river to the sea) there will not be peace. It unfortunate that Arafat pulled out of cooperation and seeds of peace after rejecting peace at Camp David. Now with walls and less interaction peace will be harder. I will point out that the Israelis and Palestinians got getter on their own in secret talks in Madrid in 1993 after the Palestinians backed Saddam Huissein in Gulf war 1 And we’re at a political low and had lost much of their Arab financial backing. So lowering Palestinian hopes is what led to peace talks previously. The Palestinians need to choose peace or war. Choosing war means they will be inconvenienced.

  16. Fil,

    Interestingly you cite Haaretz which is an Israeli newspaper (left bias but it is a free speech society unlike any other Middle East country.

  17. Lost in the stupid anti-Israel commentary above is the MAJOR benefit to Israeli Arabs and Palestinians from TLV-middle East connections (and indeed the reason why ALL bilateral aviation breakthroughs should be celebrated).

    More flights. Less land crossings to Jordan. Easier travel inbound for their relatives. Easier Hajj and travel abroad. Cheaper prices everywhere. No more separate tickets. Etc etc.

    And the KSA airspace change is MAJOR. this will dramatically reduce the carbon footprint and costs of a number of flights, which will ultimately benefit the people of the region.

    Yeah you can have issues with Israel and the Palestinians. But no matter how you slice it, this development is good news for everyone in the region.

  18. @donato

    You said it yourself: you’re neither Arab nor Muslim. Therefore your comments and experiences don’t mean a damn thing. The perils of flying while Muslim (especially to Israel) is a bit more traumatic than getting an SSSS on your boarding pass or a few extra questions.

  19. I don’t understand why the UAE is expected to be “united” with the Palestinians, just because they share the same religion? And I don’t understand why the UAE-Israeli peace treatment is immediately seen as something negative for the Palestinians… It’s not black-and-white…
    Regardless of the impact it has on the Palestinians, any 2 countries making peace is an improvement for the world – maybe not for certain people – but for the world as a whole.

  20. Simple question.
    Why are Muslims subjected to more intense security at TLV and elsewhere.
    In fact , why does airline security even exist.
    Answer: who is hijacking, bombing, and flying into buildings.
    Need one say more

  21. Just to comment on the kosher meal that for me and a lot of ultra-orthodox Jews it’s a downgrade and not a upgrade, because until now Emirates had taken their kosher meals from London with the supervision from Kedasia which is eaten by all Jewish sectors, while now they will probably have from the OU which I and most Chasidic Jews don’t eat.

  22. Really outrageous to read these nasty political comments on an airline web site. Turkish Airlines, Air Sinai, Azerbajian Airlines, Royal Jordanian, Uzbekistan Airlines are all airlines from Muslim countries operating regular flights to Israel successfully. In fact Turkish Airlines is the largest foreign carrier to Israel. Many Indonesian tourists also visit Israel. Israel is at war and needs to protect it’s borders. Emirates flights will be very convenient for flights to Australia and Indonesia. It will also avoid backtracking to Istanbul. I wish them great success. Mabrouk / Mazeltov.

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