Israir (6H, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion) has confirmed that it has applied for traffic rights to operate eight scheduled flights from Tel Aviv Ben Gurion to Dubai Int'l throughout October, becoming the first airline seeking to connect Israel and the United Arab Emirates on a scheduled basis, Reuters has reported.

The airline has already secured slots at the Israeli gateway but has yet to receive the final go-ahead for the flights.

The announcement follows the recent normalisation of diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE, and the first-ever official flight operated from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi Int'l by El Al Israel Airlines (LY, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion). However, the flag carrier has yet to confirm its plans to launch flights to the UAE on a scheduled basis.

Israir's flights to Dubai would operate on board the carrier's A320-200s, of which it has four. According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the airline also operates three ATR72-500s.

Meanwhile, the state-run Bahrain News Agency cited an unnamed source in the country's Transportation and Telecommunication Ministry as saying that Bahrain would permit all flights arriving to and departing from the UAE in its airspace. While the report did not specifically name Israeli flights, it is a clear nod to these operations. Saudi Arabia has previously permitted Israeli overflights in a similarly cryptic way, also without naming any specific countries.

While Bahraini airspace is not as critical to the economics of Israel-UAE flights as that of Saudi Arabia, permission to overfly the smaller island kingdom will further shorten the flight route. Since Jordan has diplomatic ties with Israel, there are no more countries between Israel and the UAE which would need to agree to the overflights.