Direct flights between the two countries are “an important and welcome sign of strengthening bilateral ties,” says the Israeli Embassy in Cairo.
An EgyptAir jet landed at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday, marking the Egyptian national carrier’s first official direct flight to the Jewish state since the two countries signed a peace treaty in 1979.
EgyptAir affiliate AirSinai has been running flights to Israel for decades, albeit while not displaying the company logo, according to AP. The national carrier will now openly operate three weekly flights between Cairo and Tel Aviv.
The Israeli Embassy in Cairo tweeted that direct flights are “an important and welcome sign of strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries, especially economic relations,” reported AP.
Last week, Bahrain’s GulfAir made its first direct flight to Israel, in yet another sign of improving ties following the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel and four Arab states last year.
Sunday’s flight came two weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett made the first public visit to Egypt by an Israeli leader in over a decade.
He met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in the Sinai resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh in a sign of warming ties between the two countries.
In August, Israel removed a longstanding advisory for its citizens about travel to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, a move seen as a gesture to its strategic partner.
EJP contributed to the report.