Israeli plane lands in Turkey after 10-long pause


Israel’s flag carrier completed its first cargo flight to Turkey in 10 years, the latest sign of a thaw in ties between the two nations, the Israeli embassy in Turkey said on Twitter.

An El-Al plane landed in Istanbul on Sunday, the embassy said, adding that flights between Tel Aviv and Istanbul will help trade volumes between the nations reach “record levels.”

The aircraft was loaded with 24 tonnes of humanitarian coronavirus equipment, The Jerusalem Post reported.

El Al has been authorized to operate two flights for humanitarian purposes this week; the company has applied to the Turkish authorities for permission to operate flights on a regular basis.

The plane will return to Tel Aviv from Istanbul before continuing on to New York.

Israel's national carrier has converted some of its planes to cargo planes for the duration of the coronavirus crisis, but has made moves Sunday morning in an attempt to resume international flights as soon as possible.

Flights between Tel Aviv and Istanbul were halted in 2010 after relations between Israel and Turkey soured following the Gaza flotilla incident.