Skip to main content

Bahrain's Gulf Air to offer direct Israel flights starting in June

The announcement comes less than a year after the two countries agreed to establish formal ties as part of the Abraham Accords.
The Bahraini, Israeli and US flags are pictured attached to the Boeing 737 aircraft of Israel's El Al, adorned with the word "peace" in Arabic, English and Hebrew, ahead of the flight to Bahrain's capital, Manama, at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv on Oct. 18, 2020.

Bahrain’s national airline says it will offer direct flights between Manama and Tel Aviv starting June 3, an announcement that follows the two countries’ agreement last year to normalize ties. 

According to The Times of Israel, Gulf Air’s economy class tickets are expected to cost $299 per person. Israel’s airlines are also expected to soon announce flights to Bahrain, the news outlet said. 

Bahrain became the second Arab country, after the United Arab Emirates, to establish diplomatic relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords. As part of the US-brokered pact, Israel agreed to hold off annexing large portions of the West Bank in exchange for cooperation with the Gulf states on various issues, including tourism, direct flights and investment. 

Sudan and Morocco have also announced the start of formal ties with the Jewish state, and in December, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner joined an Israeli delegation on the first direct flight from Israel to the Moroccan capital, Rabat. 

Saudi Arabia hasn’t struck a normalization deal of its own, but in what was seen as tacit approval of the Trump-brokered agreements, Riyadh last year granted Israeli commercial flights permission to cross Saudi airspace when flying to or from the UAE.

Etihad Airways, the UAE's second-largest flag carrier, flew its first commercial flight from Abu Dhabi to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport earlier this month. The Dubai-based Emirates and Israeli carrier El Al are also providing direct flights between the two countries. 

The Joe Biden administration had said it plans to build on the agreements between Israel and Arab states, but will “take a hard look” at some of the commitments made as part of the prior administration’s negotiating process. Following a review, the Biden administration says it will move ahead with a $23 billion sale of F-35s and other arms to the UAE that was initially approved by the Trump administration in a side deal to the Abraham Accords. 

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial