Boeing Etihad 787
Awaiting clearance... Flight services between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv will need to wait until an Air Services Agreement is inked. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Etihad Airways said it “welcomes the opportunity” to explore operations between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv once a bilateral Air Services Agreement (ASA) is established and regulatory approvals have been obtained.

“The result of a new bilateral ASA will not only lead to cooperation across various industries but to stronger economic ties,” an Etihad spokesperson told Gulf News. UAE’s national airline had previously flown cargo flights from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv to transport medical supplies bound for the Palestinian Territories.

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UAE carriers are expected to benefit the most from the country’s historic deal with Israel, which will lead to a new stream of travellers and which could help Dubai and Abu Dhabi partly bounce back from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Etihad and Emirates were hit hard during the pandemic, which led to international border closures and grounding of fleets. Etihad posted operating losses of $758 million for the first six months of 2020.