Bahrain's national airline Gulf Air and Israel's flag-carrier EL AL Airlines are set to embark on a historic collaboration following the signing of a MOU by Bahraini officials during their official visit to the Jewish nation.
The MoU was signed at the Hilton Tel Aviv by the Chairman of Gulf Air’s Board of Directors Zayed R. Alzayani and Chairman of EL AL Airlines’ Board of Directors David Brodet.
Al Alzayani also announced plans to launch Gulf Air’s direct flights to Tel Aviv starting from January 7 beginning with 2 weekly flights. The signing of the deal and announcement of the airline’s newest destination launch follows the recent announcement of peace between Bahrain and Israel and the political, commercial and civil aviation agreements signed recently between the two countries.
Speaking at the event, Alzayani said: "We are delighted to announce the launch of our Bahrain-Tel Aviv route as part of the historic initiation of bilateral relations. As the national carrier, we take great pride in supporting our leadership and kingdom in their role of preserving peace and prosperity in the region."
"We hope this is merely the beginning of developing further aviation opportunities and look forward to work with our friends and colleagues at EL AL and support each other to achieve bigger goals. We trust this new route will promote traffic providing commercial and social gains for both countries, while paving the path for numerous connections to the rest of our networks via the two destinations," he added.
Brodet said the opportunity to explore a potential cooperation with Gulf Air was a direct result of the changes taking place in the region.
"We at EL AL look forward to seeing how we can offer our passengers new and exciting options - it goes well beyond just the flights but with expanding in the areas of cargo, maintenance and travel technology with EL AL's Cockpit innovation hub. I welcome Alzayani to Israel and look forward to visiting Bahrain in the future."
The comprehensive MoU sets the foundation to discuss potential joint codeshare operations between Manama and Tel Aviv, as well as on the global flight networks beyond the two carriers’ hubs, and contains plans for greater commercial cooperation in the fields of loyalty, cargo, engineering, travel technology and any area that can benefit both airlines and their customers, he added.
Last month the airline operated the first ever and historic flight between Bahrain and Israel that carried the kingdom’s delegation headed by Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdul Latif Al Zayani which inaugurated the new flight code GF972 and the return flight of GF973, representing the international dialling codes of both countries.-TradeArabia News Service