DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Dubai’s budget carrier flydubai said Wednesday that it would start flying twice daily to Tel Aviv later this month, becoming the first Emirati airline to announce regular service after a U.S.-brokered deal to normalize relations between the United Arab Emirates and Israel.

Direct flights on flydubai between Dubai and Tel Aviv, two of the region’s financial hubs, will begin Nov. 26, the carrier said, the result of a bilateral transport pact signed last month.

The carrier said the 14 weekly flights would significantly boost commercial ties between the countries and open up a crucial new hub for Israelis traveling to the Far East and Africa, shaving several hours off the journey times.

“The start of scheduled flights will contribute to economic development and create further opportunities for investment in pursuit of our shared interests and values,” said Ghaith Al Gaith, CEO of flydubai.

The political deal reflects a changing Middle East in which shared enmity of archenemy Iran has largely overtaken traditional Arab support for the Palestinians, who view normalization as a betrayal.

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