TEL AVIV: Israeli flag carrier El Al announced that it will launch the first cargo flight to Dubai, days after its historic commercial passenger flight to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The cargo flight is scheduled to depart from the Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv, on September 16, Xinhua news agency quoted the airline as saying in a statement on Thursday.
The Boeing 747 plane will have a stop in Liege, Belgium, before continuing to Dubai.
Its first cargo will include “agricultural and high-tech equipment”, according to the statement.
El Al said the new route is expected to operate on a weekly basis, with a regular flight departing from Tel Aviv to Dubai on Wednesdays and returning on Fridays.
The new flight will enable Israeli companies’ “connectivity in import and export from and to Dubai, as well as to destinations in Asia via Dubai”, El Al said.
The announcement came a day after Riyadh declared it had opened its airspace to “all countries” flying to and from the UAE, a move hailed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “tremendous breakthrough” that pave the way for direct flights between the two nations.
On Monday, El Al carried out the first-ever commercial flight between Israel and Abu Dhabi.
Aboard the plane, Israeli and American delegations flew to Abu Dhabi for a two-day discussion in the wake of a US-brokered agreement between the UAE and Israel on August 13 to normalise relarions.