| 21 February 2024, Wednesday |

Dubai, Tel Aviv Resume Flights After Agreeing on Security Arrangements

The Israeli security agency, the Shin Bet, announced an agreement between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv on the security arrangement to allow Israeli airlines to resume a full schedule of flights to Dubai.

Non-stop flights will resume on Sunday, with about 12 daily trips between Tel Aviv and Dubai.

Last week, the head of Shin Bet, Ronen Bar, met with his Emirati counterparts and reached preliminary understandings on the matter.

The head of the Shin Bet security division held meetings in Dubai, during which the agreement on shared working principles and security arrangements was completed.

A dispute over airport security erupted about a year ago when the two Israeli airlines, El Al and IsrAir, requested a particular terminal at Dubai Airport for travelers to Tel Aviv, run by Israeli security men.

Dubai rejected the request, saying it is a violation of Emirati sovereignty and harms the work of the airport. It also indicated that it is unwilling to dedicate a terminal for the Israelis because of the millions of passengers at its airport.

Authorities also noted that dozens of airlines fly from Dubai to Tel Aviv without this arrangement, indicating the Israeli request is not logical.

In response, Israeli companies reduced their number of flights to Dubai, and about 50,000 Israeli citizens who bought tickets could not travel.

However, Emirati, Turkish, and European planes continued to fly from Dubai to Israel, incurring Israeli airlines significant losses.

Several advisers of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Ministry and Shin Bet officials contacted their counterparts in Dubai to resolve the crisis in recent weeks.

Israel’s Transport Minister Merav Michaeli held talks with international bodies to solve the crisis.

Michaeli claimed a misunderstanding in the communications between the two sides due to the many channels that caused the issue and explained to Bennett that the Emiratis wanted to work with one senior Israeli official authorized to address the matter.

Bennett assigned the head of the Shin Bet and his assistants to take charge, and talks with the Emiratis have been intensively conducted since last February.

Although the two parties did not disclose the details of the agreement and the nature of the security arrangements, they confirmed that the flights would resume Sunday.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat