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Bahrain flag carrier Gulf Air to launch direct fights to Israel

Gulf Air will begin direct flights from Manama to Tel Aviv in June [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 April, 2021

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The new Manama-Tel Aviv service will begin on June 3, following months of discussions between Gulf Air and senior Israeli officials.

Bahrain's national air carrier announced on Sunday that it will begin direct flights between Manama and Tel Aviv on 3 June.

The announcement from Gulf Air followed months of meetings between the airline and senior Israeli officials regarding flights between Bahrain and Israel.

Earlier this month, the UAE's second national carrier, Etihad Airways, landed the first flight from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv. The flight landed in Israel with the Gulf state's ambassador to Israel on board.

Israeli national carrier El Al and Dubai-based Emirates have also offered direct commercial flights between the two countries.

Bahrain, alongside the UAE, normalised ties with Israel in a US-brokered deal in August. The move was followed by Morocco and Sudan, who also broke with a decades-long pan-Arab boycott of Israel by establishing formal ties.

Most Arab and Muslim-majority nations have historically refrained from establishing diplomatic and economic ties with Israel out of solidarity with the Palestinians.

The US-brokered accords between Israel and Arab nations have been met with protests across the world.

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