National carrier EgyptAir starts direct flights to Israel


Egypt’s national carrier, EgyptAir, launched direct flights to Israel on Sunday, replacing a subsidiary that operated the same route for decades.

An Airbus A220-300 with EgyptAir’s logo left Cairo at 9 am (0700 GMT) heading for Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport, sources at Cairo airport said.

A spokesman for the Israeli Airport Authority confirmed the plane had landed at Ben Gurion airport.

Egypt was the first Arab country to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel after signing the 1979 Camp David peace treaty.

In 1982, Egypt established Air Sinai, which has since provided regular, direct flights to Israel. It has been described as a phantom airline as the planes were unmarked.

Air Sinai flights were suspended in April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

EgyptAir plans four flights per week to Tel Aviv, sources said.

Egypt’s move comes after four Arab countries – The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan – signed deals with Israel establishing diplomatic relations with Israel last year.

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