EgyptAir seeks further flights to Tel Aviv

Israeli media shops welcomed EgyptAir’s latest determination to function and enhance the variety of flights to Tel Aviv. They noticed within the determination a step towards reaching full normalization and peace between the 2 peoples and a choice that serves Egypt’s financial pursuits.

Egypt took the brand new step towards boosting relations and cooperation with Israel with the state-owned EgyptAir Holding Firm when it selected March 22 to run flights to Tel Aviv.

EgyptAir chairman and CEO Capt. Roshdy Zakaria stated on the 2021 Arab Aviation Summit held on March 22 within the United Arab Emirates, “EgyptAir is contemplating buying Cairo-Tel Aviv operations from [its subsidiary] Air Sinai.”

Air Sinai is a small, low-key Egyptian airline that doesn’t bear the Egyptian flag and at present runs the flights between Egypt and Israel’s Ben Gurion Worldwide Airport in Tel Aviv.

In a report revealed on March 4, Israel’s i24news quoted unnamed officers as saying, “Israel has obtained an official request from EgyptAir to function flights to Israel, as an alternative of Air Sinai, which has run the route for the previous many years, with former President Hosni Mubarak refusing to let the nationwide provider land in Israel with an Egyptian flag.”

In line with the i24news report, Egypt is looking for to interchange the smaller Air Sinai firm — which at present operates seven flights every week utilizing two designated plane — with the nationwide provider and enhance flights to Israel to 21 per week.

The report stated the choice got here as Egypt perceives the so-called Abraham Accords signed between Israel, Bahrain and the UAE as lowering tensions within the area.

In a press release to i24news TV on March 4, Israeli political analyst Jay Azrael described the Egyptian request as an necessary step, saying, “The Egyptian transfer got here within the aftermath of the peace agreements Israel signed with Sudan, the UAE and Bahrain.”

“Egypt feels that there’s a possibility to advertise relations with Israel in a method Tel Aviv has not seen earlier than. The previous Egyptian presidents had been uncomfortable taking choices that might assist enhance bilateral relations,” he stated.

Azrael defined that “[although] the Egypt-Israel peace treaty was signed in 1979, it [wasn’t] till 1982 that they began working flights. The variety of flights was low, and so they had been run by a small firm, particularly Air Sinai, and the plane didn’t have the Egyptian flag.”

“Israel’s success in constructing relations within the area prompted Egypt to see that there’s a possibility for cooperation and an financial alternative accessible in Israel,” he stated. “There are good points that Egypt might obtain from flying Israeli residents to Morocco and different African international locations by way of EgyptAir.”

“EgyptAir can profit from the connecting flights specifically, as Israel and Egypt function a bridge to Africa,” he stated, including that the “modified environment within the Center East has strengthened cooperation between Egypt and Israel. Add to this the Egyptian leaders realized there isn’t a hurt from taking steps towards Israel.”

“There have been mutual visits by Israeli and Egyptian officers recently. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been even working for months to rearrange for a go to to Egypt,” he revealed. “It’s in Israel’s curiosity to advertise relations with Egypt.”

“The Egyptian determination to extend the variety of flights to Israel consists of a glimmer of hope for additional normalization among the many Egyptian and the Israeli peoples,” Azrael stated.

This cooperation in civil aviation prompted Israeli airways to undergo Egyptian authorities a request to function direct industrial flights to the seaside resort metropolis of Sharm el-Sheikh within the Sinai Peninsula.

Yedioth Ahronoth reported on March 14 that Israir Airways Ltd. submitted to Egyptian authorities a request to function direct industrial flights. The report stated that within the occasion of Egyptian consent, Israir Airways Ltd. can be the primary Israeli provider to run flights to Sharm el-Sheikh.

“Flights are at present being run from Israel to the Egyptian metropolis in small non-public jets. But no official industrial path to Sharm el-Sheikh has been operated but,” said the report.

Israir Airways Ltd. is looking for to function two flights a day from Ben Gurion airport, in keeping with the report. At a later time, flights can even function from Haifa to Sharm el-Sheikh.

In line with the report, “Israir Airways Ltd. has submitted prior to now few days a request to function two industrial flights per day to Egypt, and … they are going to be run as soon as the required permits are obtained.”

Sabri Ragheb, proprietor of a Cairo-based company that organizes pilgrimage journeys to Israel, advised Al-Monitor, “The [Egyptian] determination is advantageous to tourism corporations, particularly these organizing journeys for the Copts to Jerusalem.”

“Having EgyptAir function flights would facilitate the group of journeys between Israel and Egypt and would give tourism corporations extra choices in organizing tourism journeys between the 2 international locations,” Ragheb added. “Beneath the rule of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt has turn out to be conscious of the significance of financial cooperation with Israel so long as this cooperation serves Egypt’s financial pursuits.”

He defined that the benefits the choice to extend the variety of flights will deliver to tourism corporations will probably be seen as soon as the coronavirus journey and pilgrimage restrictions in Israel are lifted.

Ragheb confused that South Sinai, extra particularly Sharm el-Sheikh and Taba, are the highest points of interest for Israeli vacationers, and making journey simpler would enhance tourism cooperation between the 2 international locations.

In line with the most recent figures launched by the Israeli Embassy in Egypt, the variety of Israeli vacationers to Egypt reached 700,000 in 2019. The embassy didn’t specify the places Israelis visited in Egypt.

In the meantime, no figures can be found for the 12 months 2020, which witnessed the coronavirus pandemic that compelled flights to be halted and borders to be closed.

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