Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi direct: Netanyahu drops bombshell at Ben Gurion

The prime minister touted the economic benefits that will come from the UAE peace deal.

By World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Netanyahu dropped a small bombshell during a tour of Ben Gurion International Airport on Monday, saying that Israel was working on direct flights between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi over Saudi Arabia.

“It is a very short flight, around three hours, like a flight to Rome but it will change Israeli air travel and the Israeli economy with a great wave of tourism in both directions, with investments of great magnitude,” the prime minister said.

Netanyahu was touring the airport with Transportation Minister Miri Regev ahead of the opening of flights following the corona pandemic. He said that the reopening was “experimental” depending on infection rates.

But it was clear the recent deal with the United Arab Emirates was on his mind.

“The Emiratis are very interested in massive investments in Israel in technology, in importing inexpensive products. There is a free trade zone there, one of the largest and most efficient in the world. This will be very beneficial to the Israeli consumer. Simply put, it is an injection of energy in the Israeli economy that will benefit each citizen,” he said.

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“I estimate that we will reach an agreement that will genuinely allow direct flights between Tel Aviv and Dubai. This will open the entire Israeli tourism and air travel market, and also investments, on a magnitude the likes of which we have not seen,” he said.

Netanyahu said short flights to the UAE “will, in effect, open up the east and all of the connecting routes for Israeli air travel, it is a major revolution. This is a revolution for tourism to and from Israel, and it changes everything. To the best of my knowledge, Israir has already submitted an official request.”

Stressing the economic significance of the deal, he said tourism would be the first thing affected for the better.