Israel and the United Arab Emirates appear likely to sign an agreement that would see commercial flights between the two countries, as part of the normalization process between the Jewish state and the Gulf state, a senior Israeli official said Tuesday.
In an interview to the Army radio station, the Director-General of Israel's Transportation Ministry Ofer Malka said the deal was almost finalized, and was expected to be signed in the next few days.
The agreement, which is expected to be a boon for both countries' tourism industry - will allow Israeli aircrafts to access the Emirati airspace and land in the country's airports. UAE flights will also be able to land in Israel and use the country's airspace for flights further westwards.
According to reports, the first direct Israel-UAE passenger flights are unlikely to take off before January, as Israel is working to contain the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and the consequent surge in infections.
The aviation agreement between Israel and the UAE follows Saudi Arabia's decision to open its skies for Israeli flights heading for the UAE. Senior White House advisor Jared Kushner announced Saudi's decision will not be limited to UAE-bound air traffic.
Earlier this week, the Israeli government formally endorsed a peace treaty between Israel and the UAE, with Israel set to host a high-profile Emirati delegation in the coming days.
The agreement is now to stand before the Israeli lawmakers, its submission to the Knesset (Israel Parliament) expected on Thursday.