Photo Credit: Haim Zach / GPO
Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, and Bahraini Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani sign a joint communique on the establishment of diplomatic, peaceful and friendly relations and eight MOUs. October 18, 2020, in Manama, Bahrain

A new direct flight agreement has been inked between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain, just two days after the Jewish State signed a similar agreement with the United Arab Emirates.

In fact, travelers have barely caught their collective breath from the wonders wrought by the new agreements signed just two days ago allowing for 28 direct weekly flights each by Etihad and Emirates Airlines between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi, and Tel Aviv and Dubai, (yes – a total of up to 112 flights per week), only to be again amazed by the new direct flight agreement inked this week between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

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The agreement, signed Thursday (October 22), allows an unlimited number of direct flights between Bahrain and Eilat, up to five cargo flights per week, and up to 14 passenger flights weekly between the Bahraini capital of Manama and Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.

And since Israeli aircraft are also now allowed to fly through Gulf airspace, the flight times are going to be considerably shorter between Israel and destinations in Asia and Australia, creating the potential for a drop in airfares in flights to those destinations (one can hope, right?).

Israeli government ministers are, needless to say, very pleased. Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi pointed out that the new agreement will bring “the beginning of a wave of business, economic and tourism growth . . . it will show Israel’s best sides and that our hand is reaching out for peace with countries in the region.”

Transportation Minister Miri Regev called the new agreement “a boost and encouragement for the future of aviation, tourism and trade. . . The peace treaty opens new and fascinating destinations for the Israeli public.”

The flights are slated to start within the next week or two.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.