Virus delays Israel-UAE air link ‘to January’

Dubai, Oct 13 (AFP/APP):Direct flights between Israel and the UAE, slated to begin in October after a landmark normalisation deal, are to be postponed until January because of coronavirus, an Israeli official said Tuesday.

The air link, one of the most tangible outcomes of the accord signed at the White House last month, aims to open up tourism and business opportunities to offset the Covid-19 slowdown that has knocked their economies.

But a second lockdown in Israel, which now has one of the world’s highest infection rates per capita, has put plans on hold, denting hopes for quick gains.

“I feel with the Covid that we’re kind of running with our hands behind our backs,” Jerusalem’s deputy mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum told AFP during a visit to Dubai, a member of the United Arab Emirates.

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