Israel-UAE airport dispute prompts El Al flight disruptions

i24NEWS - Reuters

2 min read
An El Al plane lands at the Ben Gurion International Airport in central Israel, October 13, 2021.
Tomer Neuberg/Flash90An El Al plane lands at the Ben Gurion International Airport in central Israel, October 13, 2021.

Tens of thousands of passengers who booked flights to Dubai will be unable to board them

Israel’s El Al airlines announced on Thursday that it’s scheduled flights to Dubai will be disrupted starting Sunday over a dispute on the security arrangements at Dubai International Airport.

The airline said that tens of thousands of passengers who booked flights will be unable to board them as a result of the service changes, according to Reuters.

Previously, Israel’s security service - the Shin Bet - said it held concerns on Dubai International Airport’s security arrangements, but did not expand further on what these arrangements entailed.

The Shin Bet also warned that Israel’s airlines could cease operations in Dubai should these concerns go unaddressed.

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Direct flights between Tel Aviv and Dubai were first established as a direct result of the Abraham Accords - a United States-brokered deal which saw Israel and the United Arab Emirates form diplomatic relations.

An unnamed Israeli official warned Reuters this week that stopping Dubai operations would be tantamount to halting Israel’s flights to the UAE altogether, and that the airport dispute could have far-reaching consequences.

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“If El Al can't fly to the Emirates, then Emirati companies can't land here,” the official said, adding that “the crisis could be regional, not just bilateral.”

The source also ruled out the potential of moving flights to Abu Dhabi, arguing that decreased traffic makes the destination a financially unviable option for Israel.

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