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'History In The Making.' Israeli El Al flight 971 flew to the UAE today -- over Saudi Arabia

Plane equipped with anti-missile system. Flight carried senior Israeli and US delegations to Abu Dhabi to finalize first Arab-Israeli peace deal in 25 years

Flight path of El Al 971. (image credit: Israel Pilots Association)

JERUSALEM - "History in the making."

That is what a senior advisor to the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates texted to an ALL ISRAEL NEWS reporter on Sunday night in a conversation about the details of the extraordinary coming week.

And he's right.

  • The first-ever flight by an Israeli airline flew on Monday from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE.
  • The plane was cleared by the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to fly over Saudi airspace.
  • On board was a delegation of senior Israeli diplomats, national security officials, and trade representatives who have been invited by UAE to negotiate the final details of the historic peace deal between the two countries.
  • This is the first Arab-Israeli peace agreement in more than 25 years.
  • A signing ceremony is being planned for the White House for later in September.
"This is what peace looks like," Prime Minister Netanyahu Tweeted at 9:29am, Israel time.
(Image credit: screen shot of Benjamin Netanyahu's Twitter feed)

Israeli, UAE and other regional media are providing saturation coverage of the developments. It remains to be seen how much attention American and other foreign reporters will give.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the Boeing 737-900 was "equipped with a system to protect aircraft against aerial threats like ground-to-air missiles."

The Times of Israel noted: "El Al Flight 971 will depart Ben Gurion Airport on Monday morning....The flight is expected to take off at 10:30 a.m. and land at 3:05 p.m, according to the Israeli Airline Pilots Association, which released a tentative map of 971’s route on Sunday evening, showing the plane slated to cross through Saudi airspace."

The return flight in two days will be El Al 972.


  • 971 is the international area code prefix for calling UAE.
  • 972 is the international area code prefix for calling Israel.
Israel’s flag carrier El Al will bring aides to U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- along with travelling journalists -- to Abu Dhabi for talks meant to put final touches on a pact establishing open relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

Asked if the plane would fly over Saudi Arabia in order to manage its planned three hour and 20 minute flight time, the source, who declined to be identified by name or nationality pending an official announcement of the route, told Reuters: “Yes.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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