JERUSALEM: Egypt’s national carrier Sunday made its first official direct flight to Israel since the two countries signed an historic 1979 peace treaty as an EgyptAir jet landed at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.
The airline’s affiliate, AirSinai, has for decades operated flights to Israel without the company logo, out of fear of public backlash.
The national carrier will now run three weekly flights between Cairo and Tel Aviv with the EgyptAir markings.
The Israeli Embassy in Cairo tweeted that direct flights are “an important and welcome sign of strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries, especially economic relations”.
Last week, Bahrain’s GulfAir made its first direct flight to Israel, further cementing commercial ties established with the signing of the “Abraham Accords” between Israel and four Arab states last year.
Sunday’s flight came two weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made the first public visit to Egypt by an Israeli leader in over a decade.
He met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in the Sinai resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh in a sign of warming ties between the two countries.
In August, Israel removed a longstanding advisory for its citizens about travel to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, a move seen as a gesture to its strategic partner.