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El Al Schedules Its First Flight to United Arab Emirates

U.S. officials have said that the first flight will include several American officials, including Jared Kushner.
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August 29, 2020
An El Al plane at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv (David Silverman/Getty Images)

(JTA) — El Al, Israel’s national airline, is scheduled to make its first publicly advertised flight to the United Arab Emirates.

The flight, which appears to be reserved for dignitaries, is set to leave Ben Gurion Airport on Monday bound for Abu Dhabi, the Associated Press reported. The flight follows the announcement earlier this month that Israel and the UAE will normalize their relations in the framework of a U.S.-brokered deal,

The Israel Airports Authority on Friday listed flight LY971, which is also the UAE’s international phone prefix, +971. The return flight is numbered LY972, which is Israel’s prefix, +972.

U.S. officials have said that the first flight between the two Middle Eastern countries will include several American officials, including Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Mideast envoy Avi Berkowitz and envoy for Iran Brian Hook.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier announced that his national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, will lead Israel’s delegation aboard the flight.

Israeli and UAE teams are negotiating the terms of the ties between the two countries after normalization, officials from both countries have said.

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