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Morocco, Sudan, Oman in line for Israel ties – reports

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Israir applies for UAE rights as Bahrain allows overflights

10.09.2020 – 11:53 UTC

Israir (6H, Tel Aviv Sde Dov) has confirmed that it has applied for traffic rights to operate eight scheduled flights from Tel Aviv Ben Gurion to Dubai Int’l throughout October, becoming the first airline seeking to connect Israel and the United Arab Emirates on a scheduled basis, Reuters has reported.

The airline has already secured slots at the Israeli gateway but has yet to receive the final go-ahead for the flights.

The announcement follows the recent normalisation of diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE, and the first-ever official flight operated from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi Int’l by El Al Israel Airlines (LY, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion). However, the flag carrier has yet to confirm its plans to launch flights to the UAE on a scheduled basis.

Israir’s flights to Dubai would operate on board the carrier’s A320-200s, of which it has four. According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the airline also operates three ATR72-500s.

Meanwhile, the state-run Bahrain News Agency cited an…

El Al told to act, as Sapir bids $51mn for joint control

03.09.2020 – 23:40 UTC

With the passing of the August 31 deadline for a USD150 million public offering for El Al Israel Airlines (LY, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion), and three offers to invest in the carrier still on the table, Israel’s transport minister, Miri Regev, has reportedly told the company and the Ministry of Finance to resolve the matter immediately.

After meeting the parties involved, she gave the financially strapped flag carrier an ultimatum: announce a date for the offering, sell the company, go into receivership, or risk losing the government’s support during the transition process, sources told the financial daily Globes on September 2.

Besides the offering, the state has pledged 75% guarantees for bank loans worth USD250 million, although so far no loans are known to have been agreed with any banks.

Meanwhile, Israeli-Russian telecoms and tourism entrepreneur David Sapir has offered to buy joint control of El Al, pledging USD51 million for 190 million new shares in the company – the same amount held by controlling shareholder Knafaim Holdings – at a 21% premium over El…

Saudi Arabia to allow Israel-UAE overflights

02.09.2020 – 23:59 UTC

Two days after the first-ever commercial flight between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia has said it would allow overflights on this route on a scheduled basis with no further restrictions, the Saudi Press Agency has reported.

A source in Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) said the kingdom would respond positively to requests filed by Emirati authorities to allow overflights to “all countries”. While Israel was not explicitly named in the report, presumably because Saudi Arabia does not formally acknowledge its existence, it was the only country facing overflight restrictions.

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed the decision, although he provided no firm timeline as to the next steps regarding the launch of scheduled flights between Tel Aviv Ben Gurion and the UAE.

El Al Israel Airlines flight LY971/2 on August 31, while lauded as the first-ever commercial flight between Israel and the UAE, transitted Saudi airspace by virtue of an exceptional permit. The flight, operated with a B737-900(ER), carried a group of American and Israeli officials to Abu

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