Dubai: Demand is expected to rise immediately on routes between the UAE and Israel after the latter was added to Abu Dhabi’s “Green List” earlier this week, which allows travelers from Israel not to need quarantine when arrive here.
“There is a significant demand for projected business and leisure travel,” Etihad Airways said in a statement. The Abu Dhabi state carrier flew its first commercial flight to Tel Aviv on Tuesday and marking the start of its regular services to that country.
The influx of tourists will be increased by the fact that Israel and the UAE have two of the highest vaccination rates in the world. “The opening of Israel-UAE services will certainly witness a strong increase in traffic,” said John Strickland, Director of JLS Consulting. “In particular, there will be tourist interest in the UAE from Israel.”
A one-way ticket from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv on an Etihad flight will cost around Dh425.
A flydubai flight from Dubai to Tel Aviv is around Dh1,113.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi will have the lowest rates of all, with tickets to Dh303.
Following the signing of the Abrahamic Agreements last September, Israel and the UAE announced visa-free travel to facilitate the movement of tourists, diplomats and businessmen. However, following a crackdown on COVID-19 cases, the UAE suspended its visa-free deal with Israel until July 1st. Israelis are now required to obtain a visa to travel to the UAE and the Emirates also need a visa to travel to Israel.
Abu Dhabi-based travel agencies are seeing very little demand for Tel Aviv at the moment. “There are not many requests,” a Regal Tours spokesman said. “People are basically traveling to their homelands.”
However, some operators are optimistic about the trip to Israel that will take place soon. “We expect reservations for Green List countries to increase soon,” said a spokesman for Travel Agency Bin Moosa.
More flights coming
Etihad will begin offering two weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv. flydubai is already operating flights and Emirates and Air Arabia are expected to merge soon.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, the newest airline from the UAE, will make its maiden flight to Tel Aviv on April 18. The carrier “will pursue a low-priced strategy, which is always a strong stimulus to demand,” Strickland said.
The start of flights will be a player for UAE airlines, which have also been hit hard by the pandemic. This will lead to a new flow of travelers that could help Dubai and Abu Dhabi partially recover from the crisis.
Last year, Middle East airlines posted a loss of $ 7.1 billion. And although airlines in the region received $ 4.8 billion in government assistance during the period, some carriers are still at risk of bankruptcy or business administration, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.
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