Emirates has commenced daily flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv two years after Israel and most UAE nations signed the Abraham Accords
The long-awaited Emirates flights between Dubai and Tel Aviv began on Thursday when its first Boeing 777 service connecting the two cities took off. Emirates flight EK931 rolled down the runway in Dubai (DXB) just after midday and took three hours to wing its way across to Tel Aviv (TLV), where hundreds of people, including dignitaries, welcomed the flight.
Emirates’ daily Boeing 777 Tel Aviv flights take off
These flights are a consequence of the 2020 Abraham Accords, which normalized relations between most Gulf states and Israel. On Thursday, 335 passengers (including a healthy contingent of media and political movers and shakers from both countries) boarded the first flight. Emirates’ three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft seat either 354 or 360 passengers – with the count differences caused by some seat tweaks in the economy class cabin layout.
“We are excited about the launch of the Tel Aviv service, which adds to our growing network,” said Adel Al Rehda, Emirates Chief Operating Officer, who was onboard the first flight. “From the time we first announced plans to include Tel Aviv in our global reservation systems, we received strong demand from travelers, not only in Israel but also from many of our destinations, including to and from the UAE. Our new service will provide tourism, trade, and business opportunities.”
“Emirates will offer convenient access into Tel Aviv from diverse points across its network, with multiple daily and weekly flights, many of which are home to thriving Jewish communities.”
Nearly 2,500 extra weekly seats on the Dubai-Tel Aviv city pair
Emirates had previously identified Israel as one of Dubai’s top 20 source markets and believes the new flights will push Israel further up that ranking. El Al and flydubai already link the two cities, but it is the arrival of the big Emirates jets onto the route that will really put the city pair on the map and provide 2,478 seats a week
While Thursday’s inaugural flight pushed back from DXB at lunchtime, the service will settle into a mid-afternoon departure from Dubai and an early evening departure from Tel Aviv.
EK931 will leave Dubai at 15:50 every afternoon and is booked to take three hours and ten minutes to fly to Tel Aviv, landing at 18:00. The Boeing will spend just under two hours at the gate in TLV before turning around to operate EK932 back to Dubai. The return flight will leave Tel Aviv at 19:55 and touch down in DXB at 23:59.
Flights a positive for both countries
On landing in Tel Aviv on Thursday, the Emirates jet passed under a duo of fire engines providing a water cannon salute. It arrived at the gate to a welcome committee, including Israel’s Minister of Transport and Road Safety, Merav Michaeli. Onboard were a swag of Emirates executives.
“Emirates is committed to creating new opportunities for business and tourism and strengthening the bilateral ties between business and tourism,” said Adnan Kazim back in March when locking in the June 23 start date. “We are confident that our new services will have a positive impact on enhancing Israel’s connectivity to a wealth of global destinations, and we thank the UAE and Israeli authorities for their ongoing support in making this service possible.”