Leaders from both airline companies signed an agreement that has opened the door for direct flights between their respective capital cities for the first time.

Following the normalization of ties between Israel and Bahrain after signing the Abraham Accords back in September, several new flight agreements have surfaced that include other countries in the region as well. However, Israel’s El Al has now signed an agreement with Bahrain’s Gulf Air that is paving the way for direct flights to begin between the two countries.

The two airline companies – represented by Gulf Air Chairman, Zayed Alzayani, and the Chairman of El Al, David Brodet – signed a memorandum of understandings (MOU) in Tel Aviv.

Alzayani said, “We are delighted to announce the launch of our Bahrain – Tel Aviv route as part of the historic initiation of Bahraini – Israeli relations. As the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain; we take great pride in supporting our leadership and kingdom in their role of preserving peace and prosperity in the region.”

Brodet also stated, “The opportunity to explore a potential cooperation with Gulf Air is a direct result of the changes taking place in the region. We at EL AL look forward to seeing how we can offer our passengers new and exciting options – it goes well beyond just the flights but with expanding in the areas of cargo, maintenance and travel technology.”

Gulf Air intends to begin flights on January 7, 2021, and will offer two weekly flights from Manama to Tel Aviv. While Bahrain did have a delegation of officials fly direct to Tel Aviv in recent days, January 7th will mark what is considered to be the first direct commercial flight.