FlyDubai Launching Flights To Tel Aviv, Israel

Filed Under: Other Airlines

FlyDubai has just become the first Emirati airline to announce regularly scheduled flights between the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

This followsĀ normalization of relations between the two countries, which was first revealed back in mid-August. Part of this new cooperation involves an air service agreement, which will allow for commercial flights.

FlyDubai’s new Dubai to Tel Aviv flight

FlyDubai will launch twice daily nonstop flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv as of November 26, 2020. The airline will operate flights with the following schedules:

FZ1163 Dubai to Tel Aviv departing 9:40AM arriving 11:35AM
FZ1164 Tel Aviv to Dubai departing 12:35PM arriving 5:45PM

FZ1627 Dubai to Tel Aviv departing 10:00PM arriving 11:55PM
FZ1628 Tel Aviv to Dubai departing 12:55AM arriving 6:05AM

FlyDubai will fly a 737-800 to Tel Aviv

The 1,326 mile flights are blocked at 3hr55min westbound and 3hr10min eastbound. The flights will be able to use Saudi Arabian airspace, which isn’t something that was possible for flights to & from Israel until recently.

FlyDubai will use Boeing 737-800s for the route, featuring 174 seats, including 12 business class seats and 162 economy class seats. Business class seats are similar to what you’d find in domestic first class in the US, perhaps with a bit more legroom.

FlyDubai 737-800 business class

I’d note that FlyDubai also has Boeing 737 MAX 8s with fully flat business class seats, but those planes are grounded for now.

While airfare will vary greatly, fares start at the following:

  • Roundtrip from Dubai to Tel Aviv starts at 6,000 AED (~1,634 USD) in business class and 1,600 AED (~436 USD) in economy class
  • Roundtrip from Tel Aviv to Dubai starts at 1,600 USD in business class and 360 USD in economy class

FlyDubai’s Israel flights are now on sale

Does this mean Emirates won’t fly to Israel?

FlyDubai has the same owner as Emirates — the government of Dubai. While the airlines aren’t technically part of the same airline group, for all practical purposes I’d consider them to be working together.

While Emirates exclusively has 777s and A380s, FlyDubai exclusively has 737s, making a lot of routes economical that wouldn’t work for Emirates.

Initially when we knew this air services agreement would be signed, most of us assumed Emirates would fly to Tel Aviv. The airline had even allegedly received permission from Ben Gurion Airport to launch the route. However, to me this suggests that Emirates may not offer service for now.

There are very few markets that are served by both Emirates and FlyDubai, since FlyDubai feeds into Emirates’ network, and vice versa. The airlines codeshare, have the same frequent flyer program, etc.

FlyDubai and Emirates are both owned by the government of Dubai

While it’s possible that Emirates will launch service to Tel Aviv in addition to FlyDubai, personally this suggests to me that this might not happen for now. That’s particularly true when you consider that FlyDubai’s flight times “feed” into Emirates’ network to & from Dubai.

I guess that’s not terribly surprising when you consider current travel restrictions, and also that the Gulf carriers are trying to light less money on fire. šŸ˜‰

It’s possible Emirates won’t fly to Tel Aviv for now

Bottom line

FlyDubai has become the first UAE airline to announce flights to Israel, which will launch in just a few weeks. The airline will operate twice daily flights.

To me this suggests that Emirates won’t be launching flights to Israel for the time being, given that FlyDubai and Emirates have the same owner, with FlyDubai typically operating to smaller markets. I certainly could be wrong, though I can also understand why Emirates might not immediately want to launch flights to a new market with excess capacity.

What do you make of FlyDubai launching flights to Israel, and do you think this means Emirates won’t operate the route for now?

  1. Must be the matter of maintaining the right seating capacity. Once the demand is high I could see Emirates adding their service as well.

  2. I wonder if @freedom isn’t far off… EgyptAir’s flights between CAI and TLV operate under the name of Air Sinai with unmarked aircraft for a reason.

    Also @Ben, Arkia announced a week or two ago that they were going to launch flights to DXB as of JAN21

  3. FlyDubai is probably serving TLV due to diminished demand at the moment and it is easier to start at smaller capacity. Israel still has a 14 day quarantine for people who come in from out of the country. Also, there is quite a large immigrant worker community from India and the Philippines in Israel (not as big as UAE, but significant) – so this is probably where demand will start (at the low end of things). Tourism and business travel will pickup post-COVID (obviously).

    Looking at the route map, the majority of the destination overlap between FZ and EK happens to be in the Middle East. And considering that Emirates’ smallest plane is a 777, a FlyDubai 737 probably allows for more frequencies without dumping too much capacity in a market.

  4. I’ll help all of you out. I will say it so you don’t need to:

    Thanks President Trump for negotiating this groundbreaking peace accord.

  5. @freedom

    What leverage do Malaysia and Indonesia have over the U.A.E.? I’m not being sarcastic here. I just don’t see any clout whatsoever. If anything, it would be the other way round.

  6. It is not about the clout, but about not pissing off your customers unnecessarily.

    Many Muslim countries are more conservative not to accept Israel

  7. @freedom: I disagree- rather I think the agreements signed with Bahrain & the UAE will bring more Muslim majority countries following their footsteps. Sudan have already said so, Oman is also speculated. Other moderate countries like Morocco, Tunisia & Malaysia are prime candidates.

  8. @Andreas,

    I disagree. Without US meddling, the most is to keep the current state.

    With all the bad about Iran, at least it is still a republic, Unlike those Middle East Muslim kingdoms with absolute monarchy. They will sell everything to keep the kingdomship…

  9. @ Lucky

    Don’t know about your information here, this is spreading misleading information. FlyDubai is not directly owned by Emirates and are NOT part of the Emirates group. Fly Dubai is directly owned by the government of Dubai not the Emirates Group which EK is, and while the Dubai govt. do own Emirates group, they are not directly part of the same company. They are just close partners.

    Secondly, Fly Dubai is a low cost (budget) carrier dissimilar from Emirates being full service.

    And there are actually several markets both Fly Dubai and Emirates serve:

    Ahmedabad, Baghdad, Bahrain, Basra, Chennai, Colombo, Dammam, Dar es Salaam, Delhi, Dhaka, Entebbe, Hyderabad, Istanbul, Jeddah, Kabul, Karachi, Kochi, Kuwait, Male, Mumbai, Muscat, Prague, Riyadh, Sialkot.

    That’s 24 and I am sure I missed a few. I personally would not call 24 routes “very few”.

    A fact check and accurate language would have been nice.

  10. @freedom…I don’t want this travel blog to become a political forum but you have absolutely no clue at what you are talking about as you certainly how no idea of the mess and crap going on in Iran…UAE has taken the most sensible step by establishing ties!

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