First official Israeli flight to UAE takes off with Trump aides onboard

Senior U.S. Presidential Adviser Jared Kushner listens to U.S. National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien speaking ahead of boarding the El Al's flight LY971, which will carry a U.S.-Israeli delegation from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi at Ben Gurion Airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel August 31, 2020. Menahem Kahana/Pool via REUTERS

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - The first official Israeli flight to the United Arab Emirates took off on Monday from Tel Aviv, carrying U.S. and Israeli delegates to talks on cementing an Israel-UAE normalisation deal brokered by Washington.

Saudi Arabia, which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, has given permission for the El Al Airlines Boeing 737 to fly over its territory en route to the UAE’s capital of Abu Dhabi, a source familiar with the flight plan said.

Reporting by Rami Ayyub; Editing by Jeffrey Heller