Wizz Air’s new Gulf subsidiary, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, announced in a statement yesterday that it will begin offering direct low-cost flights from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv, with the first flight scheduled to leave the Emirates capital on April 18, 2021. The UAE’s newest airline plans to initially offer three flights per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays with fares starting at Dh99 ($26.95) one way.
If successful, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi plans to operate a daily flight from Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) to Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) beginning in May 2021. On the 3 hours, 25 minute-flight, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi plans to deploy one of its four brand-new Airbus A321neo aircraft, giving it the lowest environmental footprint among its competitors in the region.
They wanted to start flights in February
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi had originally planned to begin flights between the two Middle Eastern countries in February, but because of COVID-19, they were delayed until April. Since the United Arab Emirates and Israel announced the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement last August, Israeli airlines El Al, Israir, and Arkia have all launched flights to the UAE. Government-owned flydubai has also launched flights between the UAE and Israel, with Etihad and Emirates expected to follow suit.
Abu Dhabi English language daily newspaper The Nation quotes Wizz Air Abu Dhabi managing director Kees Van Schaick as saying the following when talking about the historic new route:
“In light of the recently eased restrictions, I’m delighted to announce the date of the first Wizz flight from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv later this month. The connection between the two cities is a historic moment – the link between the UAE and Israel will further contribute to the tourism sector and help to diversify the local economy while bringing new low-fare business and leisure opportunities for travelers.”
Israel and UAE restrictions
Can people in the UAE travel to Israel?
Sadly no, not for the moment as Israel is only allowing its citizens and those with close relatives entry into the country. Of course, there are some exceptions for diplomats and for people who are considered essential workers.
Because Israel is a small country with a relatively young population, it was uniquely qualified to take the coronavirus head-on. It also did not hurt that the Israeli government managed to secure doses of the vaccine while other countries dithered. Globally, Israel is leading the world, having already successfully delivered two doses of the vaccine to more than half its population. Because of this success, people in the UAE may not have to wait too long to enjoy Tel Aviv’s culture, beaches, and nightlife.
Can people in Israel travel to the UAE?
The answer here is yes! Thanks to Israel’s successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and ahead of Etihad’s inaugural passenger flight to Israel, the Jewish state was added to Abu Dhabi’s green list of countries. Any passengers arriving in Abu Dhabi from a country that is on the Green List no longer need to quarantine.
The Green List
Israel and South Korea were added to the Green List on Sunday, joining the following12 other nations:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
The Green List is updated every two weeks to add or remove countries based on their rates of COVID-19 infections. While people arriving from Green List countries no longer have to quarantine, they need to have a negative PCR test result and take a second PCR test upon arrival in Abu Dhabi. Anyone arriving in Abu Dhabi from a country not on the Green List must quarantine for 10 days at their own expense.
Wizz Air Abu Dhabi offers great prices on its new routes and will hopefully see Israel open up to foreigners before the summer.
What do you think about Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s new route to Tel Aviv? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments.