Israel's El Al announces cargo flight to Dubai
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Israel's national carrier El Al on Thursday announced a first cargo flight to Dubai, days after its groundbreaking commercial passenger trip to the United Arab Emirates.
Following on the heels of a deal to normalise Israel-UAE ties, the cargo flight is scheduled to take off from Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv on September 16, the airline said in a statement.
Unlike the direct passenger flight, the cargo service will fly via Liege in Belgium before continuing to Dubai, El Al said, without explaining the roundabout route.
The Boeing 747 aircraft will be carrying "agricultural and high-tech equipment" from Israel to the Emirates, El Al said, with the route set to become a regular Wednesday fixture in the future.
"The weekly El Al cargo flight to Dubai will enable Israeli companies connectivity in import and export from and to Dubai, as well as Asia in transfer from Dubai," El Al said.
On Monday an El Al flight from Ben Gurion took a delegation of US and Israeli officials to the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, to draft agreements after a surprise diplomatic breakthrough last month.
The historic direct trip was not only the first commercial flight between the countries, but also the first official flight of the Israeli carrier over Saudi Arabia.
The El Al plane made the same trip in reverse the following day when it returned to Tel Aviv.
The United Arab Emirates and Israel are expected to sign the US-brokered accord, Israel's first with a Gulf nation and only its third with an Arab state, at the White House in coming weeks.
© 2020 AFP