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Bahrain’s Gulf Air to start flights to Israel in June

April 19, 2021 at 4:31 pm

This photo taken on August 5, 2016 shows aircraft engineers inspecting one of the engines of an Airbus A330 of Gulf Air at the Manila international airport. [STR/AFP via Getty Images]

Bahrain’s flag carrier Gulf Air has announced that it has begun selling tickets ahead of its first direct flights to Israel’s Tel Aviv commencing on 3 June.

The airline’s twice-weekly service between Manama and Tel Aviv will follow other Gulf carriers including the UAE’s FlyDubai which started direct passenger flights to Israel in November and Etihad, which launched direct flights from Abu Dhabi earlier this month. Israel’s flag carrier El Al began direct flights to Dubai in December, with the UAE proving to be a popular tourist destination for Israelis, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Both countries normalised ties with Israel last year in a US-sponsored agreement known as the Abraham Accords under the administration of former US President Donald Trump. Since the signing of the agreement in Washington, Sudan and Morocco  have also entered peace deals with Israel.

The first commercial flight from Israel to Bahrain took place shortly after normalisation in September. During a visit by a Bahraini delegation to Israel last November, both countries reportedly agreed to open embassies, establish online visa systems and launch weekly flights between their countries.

Manama appointed its first ever ambassador to Israel late last month, the move came after the UAE appointed its own envoy to Israel.

READ: Bahrain is yet to normalise ties with its own people