Israir, Etihad in Talks on Abu Dhabi Pilot Training Facility

Israir Airlines & Tourism Ltd. is in advanced talks with Etihad Airways to use its flight training facility in Abu Dhabi, an arrangement that would allow the airline to transfer its pilot simulator training from Europe to the Gulf.

Israir plans to begin flying to Abu Dhabi in December, it said in a statement. The potential plan to move periodic pilot training would reduce hotel, flight and training costs, Israir said.

The carrier operates four Airbus 320 planes and its 32 pilots currently undertake their periodic training in Amsterdam.

Talks with Etihad were made possible due to the normalization pact between Israel and the United Arab Emirates in September. Last week, the two countries signed agreements on visas and aviation.

A second Israeli carrier, Arkia Israeli Airlines Ltd., said it will begin service to Dubai on Dec. 20, two weeks earlier than planned due to high demand. Arkia will offer seven weekly flights to Dubai, with ticket prices starting from $149 each way, as well as airfare-hotel packages, it said.

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