The Israeli state-owned El Al and Etihad Airways, owned by the Abu Dhabi government, said on Thursday that they have signed an agreement to explore further ways of cooperation such as providing shared code services between Abu Dhabi, Tel Aviv and other destinations.
El Al and Etihad said that the signed memorandum of understanding aims to enhance trade cooperation in various fields such as shipping, engineering, pilot training facilities and the air hospitality staff.
According to a statement published by the Emirati company on its website, the wide-ranging memorandum of understanding covers plans to provide shared code services between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv, in addition to a number of other destinations across the two companies’ global destination networks.
It also includes plans for trade cooperation in cargo and engineering services, loyalty programs, destination management and optimization of pilot training facilities and air hospitality teams.
Etihad Aviation Group CEO Tony Douglas and Allal Aviation Company CEO, Gonen Osskin, signed the Memorandum of Understanding.
Douglas commented on the occasion by saying, “The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) comes as a starting point for what we envision will be a strong and continuous fruitful relationship and cooperation between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv.”
In turn, Osskin said, “The diplomatic relations that were established recently between Israel and the United Arab Emirates have provided us with an important opportunity to discuss ways of cooperating with Etihad Airways. The memorandum of understanding comes as a first step in the process of joint cooperation between the two airlines, and we are confident that by working together, the two airlines will be able.” To provide the best products and services to our mutual customers. “
El Al has not yet announced flights to the UAE, but two smaller Israeli carriers, Arkia and Israirir, have said they will launch flights to Dubai next month.
Israir has already submitted a request for services between Dubai and Bahrain, with a plan to offer joint flights to the two countries. The company will launch the Bahrain Path in January.
Etihad Airways had earlier announced its intention to start regular flights between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv in the first quarter of next year.
This comes on the heels of the normalization agreement between the UAE and Israel, and the signing of a peace agreement between them in Washington on September 15th.
Etihad was the first Gulf airline to operate a commercial passenger flight to and from Tel Aviv when, last October, one of its aircraft carried an Emirati delegation that visited Israel, in the first ministerial-level visit from the UAE to Israel.