By Yoni Weiss
EgyptAir’s first direct commercial flight from Cairo to Tel Aviv touched down at Ben Gurion airport on Sunday morning, signaling the start of regular operations between the two countries.
The Airbus A220-300 plane was greeted on the runway with celebratory water jets.
The state-owned flag carrier of Egypt is expected to fly the route four times a week.
Previously, the only flights between Ben Gurion and Cairo International Airport were operated discreetly by Air Sinai, a subsidiary of EgyptAir. The Air Sinai flights were unmarked without the Egyptian flag.
Air Sinai was established in 1982 under the terms of the 1979 Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty which stipulated that there must be active civilian aviation routes between the two countries.
EgyptAir did not schedule any flights to Israel for political reasons, but ties between the two countries have been warming.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met last month in Sharm el-Sheikh with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The visit marked the first time an Israeli Prime Minister has traveled to the country in more than a decade.
Bennett said that the two leaders “created an infrastructure for a deep connection to the way forward.”