On Thursday, June 23, Emirates touched down in Tel Aviv on its first-ever service to Israel, with its latest Boeing 777 ‘game-changer’ aircraft.
To emphasize the importance of this new route, the high-profile delegation onboard the inaugural flight included: Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy; Mohamed Al Khaja, UAE Ambassador to Israel; Amir Hayek, Israeli Ambassador to UAE; Brigadier General Talal Al Shanqeti, Assistant General Director of Airport Passport Affairs Sector; Waleed Al Naqbi, Senior Administrator – Coordination & Follow up, UAE Ministry of Economy; Richard Mintz, Advisor to the UAE Ambassador in the United States; Ahmad AlMarri, Dubai Economy and Tourism, Head of Region – GCC & Mena International Operations; Abdulhamied Seddiqi, Vice Chairman at Seddiqi Holding; Ross Kiel, Director at Kosher Arabia.
Ben Gurion Airport welcomed flight EK931 with the customary water cannon sa. The arrival of the airline’s first service drew an audience of travelers, aviation fans, and guests from across the industry. Upon touchdown, the VIP delegation was welcomed by Merav Michaeli, Israel’s Minister of Transport and Road Safety.
After the welcome ceremony, The UAE flag carrier showcased the interiors of its latest Boeing 777 ‘game-changer’ aircraft to government officials and guests. The aircraft offers the world’s first fully-enclosed First Class suites, the ultimate in luxury and privacy, including virtual windows and room service.
The carrier will operate its three-class Boeing 777-300ER on the daily Dubai-Tel Aviv route, with eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie-flat seats in Business Class, and 304 spacious seats in Economy Class.
At the welcome ceremony, Minister of Transportation and Road Safety, Merav Michaeli said: “The ties between Israel and the UAE are strategic economic ties and are critical to strengthening our position in the face of the changing threats in the Middle East.
“On my last visit to the UAE, I signed agreements that will facilitate the trade and mobility between us as a tool to empower the citizens and economies of both countries. The step we are marking today is far beyond aviation; it is an important political step that blurs the physical boundaries between us, and strengthens our mutual commitment.”
Adel Al Redha, Emirates COO, added: “We are excited about the launch of the Tel Aviv service, which adds to our growing network. From the time we first announced plans to include Tel Aviv in our global reservation systems, we received strong demand from travelers – not only in Israel but also from many of our destinations, including to and from the UAE. Some of the high demand also came from Australia, Indonesia, Brazil, the United States, and the Philippines. This reflects the strength of our product offering, our global network’s reach, and the efficiency of our hub Dubai for worldwide connections. Our new service will provide tourism, trade and business opportunities.
“We look forward to welcoming our customers to experience Emirates’ product on the ground and on board, as well as enjoy a unique experience across all classes. We take this opportunity to thank our friends and partners for supporting the launch of our service.”
Emirates’ flight schedule to and from Tel Aviv provides convenient access to Dubai, with connections to popular destinations like Australia, the Philippines, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In addition, the carrier’s codeshare partnership with flydubai offers travelers even more choices when they connect in Dubai, affording access to the combined network of both carriers which span 210 destinations in 100 countries.
According to the Dubai Department of Economy & Tourism, over 300,000 Israelis have visited the UAE in the last two years, despite the pandemic, and the number is expected to increase with the easing of travel restrictions.
Emirates’ flights to Tel Aviv operate as EK931 and EK932. The daily flight takes off at 3:50 pm, arriving at Ben Gurion Airport at 6:00 pm local time. The return flight departs Tel Aviv at 7:55 pm, arriving in Dubai at 11:59 pm (local time).