Ben Gurion Airport, Central Israel - 31 August 2020
1. Various of plane on tarmac
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Aron Heller, The Associated Press:
"We're moments away from the first direct flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi, the so-called Peace Flight here behind us. The El Al flight is about to depart, carrying out high level Israeli and American delegation for meetings with Emirati leaders. This will be the first direct flight from Israeli to United Arab Emirates, following the historic signature of agreements to normalise ties between the two countries. We have the (United States) President (Donald) Trump's senior advisor and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as well as (US) national security adviser (Robert O'Brien) on board. And a very festive atmosphere here as everybody is preparing for this really historic flight, with the outgoing El Al making history. And we're about to get on board and head over to Abu Dhabi. Aron Heller of the Associated Press at Israel's International Ben Gurion Airport."
A Star of David-adorned El Al plane has departed from Israel's international airport, carrying a high-ranking American and Israeli delegation to Abu Dhabi in the first-ever direct commercial passenger flight to the United Arab Emirates.
The Israeli flag carrier's flight Monday marks the implementation of the historic US-brokered deal to normalise relations between the two nations and solidifies long-clandestine ties that have evolved over years of shared enmity toward Iran.
With the US as matchmaker, Israel and the UAE agreed earlier this month to work toward normalisation, which would make the UAE the third Arab nation to have full relations with Israel, after Egypt and Jordan.