United Arab Emirates’ budget airline flydubai launched direct flights to Israel on Thursday following the normalization of ties between the two countries in a Trump administration-brokered deal.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the scene of the arrival of the inaugural flight in Tel Aviv following nearly four hours in the air, called it “a moment of history.”
“As-salaam alaikum [Peace be upon you],” Netanyahu said to arriving passengers at Ben Gurion Airport, adding, “Come again and again and again.”
The prime minister said, “This opens up trade, economy, tourism and makes for a truly new Middle East, it is a meeting of two peoples.”
Israel and the UAE agreed in August to establish diplomatic relations – the first of its kind agreement by an Arab state in the Gulf.
Bahrain and Sudan have also agreed to forge formal ties with Israel in deals…