The first direct flight between Tel Aviv, Israel’s coastal metropolis, and Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt’s Red Sea resort, took off on Sunday, according to Israeli national airline El-Al.

El-Al subsidiary Sun d’Or flight 5193 departed Ben Gurion International Airport at 0715 GMT, according to a statement from the carrier.

Since Egypt became the first Arab country to conclude a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, direct flights have been available between Tel Aviv and Cairo.

The two countries’ ties have recently been strengthened.
After taking office in June, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited Egypt twice and met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in September.

A plane bearing the insignia of Egypt’s national carrier, Egyptair, landed in Israel for the first time in early October, in a voyage characterized by the Israel Airport Authority as “historic.”

Prior to that, Egyptian flights to Israel were operated by an Egyptair subsidiary, Air Sinai, which was formed up specifically for the Israeli route and did not fly the Egyptian flag on its planes.

Some Egyptians continue to oppose relations with Israel.

The Egyptian branch of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which opposes Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands, has called for a boycott of two Israeli-organized dance festivals scheduled for Sinai in the coming days.

Egypt and Jordan were the only Arab countries to normalize relations with Israel until 2020.

Bahrain, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates joined them later that year, and now all three countries have direct flights to Israel.


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