TelAviv-A US-Israeli delegation including White House advisor Jared Kushner took off Monday on a historic first direct commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi to mark the normalisation of ties between the Jewish state and the UAE.

The word “peace” was written in Arabic, English and Hebrew on the cockpit of the plane of Israel’s national carrier El Al that took off around 11:20 am (0820 GMT) and was expected to land in the Emirates in the afternoon.

“While this is a historic flight, we hope that it will start an even more historic journey in the Middle East and beyond,” Kushner, who is President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a key architect of his Middle East policy, said before boarding.

“The future does not have to be predetermined by the past. This is a very hopeful time.” The flight number El Al 971 is a reference to the UAE’s international dialling code, and the return flight, set to leave Abu Dhabi on Tuesday morning, is El Al 972, matching Israel’s dialling code.