Airliner greeted on runway with celebratory water jets; Egypt’s national carrier expected to fly Cairo-Tel Aviv route four times a week after operating through subsidiaries for decades

EgyptAir’s first direct commercial flight from Cairo to Tel Aviv touched down at Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday at approximately 11:08am local time, signaling the start of regular operations between the two countries.

The Airbus A220-300 plane was greeted on the runway with celebratory water jets.

First official Egypt Air flight arrives at Ben Gurion International Airport on Sunday
First-ever official Egyptair flight lands at Ben Gurion International Airport on Sunday (Photo: Moni Shafir)


The Egyptian state-owned flag carrier is expected to fly the route four times a week.

This was the first official direct commercial flight from Cairo to Israel, more than 40 years after the two nations have reached a peace treaty following the signing of the Camp David Accords in 1979.

Previously, the only flights between Ben Gurion Airport and Cairo International Airport were operated discreetly by Air Sinai, a subsidiary of EgyptAir. The Air Sinai flights were not marked with the Egyptian flag.

Air Sinai was established in 1982 under the terms of the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty which stipulated there must be active civilian aviation routes between the two countries.

Plane marked as Star Alliance from Egypt at Ben Gurion International Airport
Plane marked as Star Alliance at Ben Gurion International Airport (Photo: Daniel Salami)


The company also operated flights for Christian pilgrims from Africa marked as Star Alliance.

EgyptAir did not schedule any flights to Israel for political reasons, but ties between the two countries have been warming, especially with Israel’s new government taking an active role.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met last month with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Sharm el-Sheikh. The visit marked the first time an Israeli prime minister has traveled to the country in more than ten years.

Bennett called the meeting “important and very good” upon his return to Israel, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, adding that the two leaders “created an infrastructure for a deep connection to the way forward.”

As reported by Ynetnews