UPDATE 1-El Al to fly first cargo flight to Dubai by an Israeli carrier

TEL AVIV, Sept 3- El Al Israel Airlines said on Thursday t cargo flight to Dubairst cargo flight to Dubai by an Israeli carrier on Sept. 16. El Al, Israel’s flag carrier, said the new route will be an “import and export” link to Dubai and further east. El Al flew the delegation and received permission from Saudi Arabia, which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, to…

TEL AVIV, Sept 3 (Reuters) – El Al Israel Airlines

said on Thursday t cargo flight to

Dubairst cargo flight to

Dubai by an Israeli carrier on Sept. 16.

The first flight, using a Boeing 747 jet, will travel toBelgium and from there to Dubai, carrying agricultural and hightech products. It will later become a weekly flight, leavingIsrael every Wednesday and returning to Israel on Fridays.

El Al, Israel’s flag carrier, said the new route will be an”import and export” link to Dubai and further east.

An Israeli delegation visited Abu Dhabi on a historic tripearlier this week to finalise a pact to open up relationsbetween Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

El Al flew the delegation and received permission from SaudiArabia, which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, tocross over its territory en route to the UAE’s capital of AbuDhabi.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israeliairliners will be allowed to fly directly to the UAE, shortlyafter Saudi Arabia opened its airspace to all flights to andfrom the UAE.

Israeli officials have played up the economic benefits ofthe accord, which once formalised would include agreements ontourism, technology, energy, healthcare and security, amongother areas.

El Al has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak and isin advanced negotiations for a government bailout to avoidbankruptcy. It has reported losses for two years running andracked up debt to renew its fleet, suspended flights when Israelclosed its borders and furloughed most of its employees.

Israeli-Russian businessman David Sapir this week offered tobuy joint control of El Al, one of three offers currently on thetable, while the airline is in talks with the government on abailout package.(Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Steven Scheer and MarkPotter)