Israeli and American officials were set to leave for Abu Dhabi on a historic first El Al flight from Israel to the United Arab Emirates that will fly over Saudi Arabia on Monday 31st August morning.
It will be the first-ever direct commercial flight from Israel to the UAE and the first Israeli airline to fly over Saudi airspace, a person familiar with the matter said.
The flight will take three hours and 13 minutes, the Israeli Airline Pilots Association said Sunday. The flight is operating by a EL AL B737-900, registration 4X-EHD.
The plane designated for the flight was adorned with the word “peace” in Arabic, Hebrew and English in honor of the historic moment.
Among those expected to be on the flight are White House Special Adviser Jared Kushner, US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, US Special Representative for International Negotiations Avi Berkowitz, US Iran envoy Brian Hook, an Israeli delegation led by National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat and top Israeli officials in the areas of tourism, trade and energy.
According to Jerusalem Post, The El Al B737-800 taking off from Tel Aviv on Monday for Abu Dhabi, is equipped with a system to protect aircraft against aerial threats like ground-to-air missiles.
The Directed IR Countermeasures (DIRCM) manufactured by Elbit Systems defend aircraft by detecting, tracking and jamming incoming infrared threats like heat-seeking ground-to-air missiles and shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles, also known as man-portable air defense systems (MANPADs).