(Eagle News) — The first Israeli flight landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Wednesday, Oct. 14, hailed as symbolic of the “good relations between Israel and the Philippines,” according to Israel’s ambassador to the Philippines Rafael Harpaz.
The El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. with Flight No. LY 063 landed at the NAIA at 6:25 AM on Wednesday.
This was the first Israeli flight in seven years at a Philippine airport. The last flight happened way back November 2013 when two Israeli planes carrying humanitarian aid first touched the Philippine soil via Cebu airport to assist the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda. (Haiyan).
“Onboard the El Al plane were 250 Filipino students from different agriculture universities and colleges in the Philippines who completed their 11-month on-the-job training course of combined academic learning and practical work in the latest farming techniques and technologies in Israel,” the Israel embassy said.
“The program offered the students the opportunity to study at specialized agricultural academic centers and work in modern farms throughout Israel,” it said.
There are around 5,000 Filipino students who already participated in this Agro Studies program. Another batch of flight from Israel to the Philippines is scheduled later this month.
The Israel embassy said that that the Israeli flights to the Philippines seven years ago were part of its humanitarian mission to help the country after the Haiyan tragedy.
“It was one of the biggest relief operations that Israel has ever conducted. The Israeli delegation of doctors, nurses, and paramedics and Israeli Foreign Ministry and Defense personnel provided a field hospital and helped repair damaged infrastructures such as schools and water facilities particularly in Bogo, Cebu,” an embassy release said.
“The Embassy looks forward that after the COVID-19 pandemic and through the existing visa-free agreement, more Filipino tourists will come to visit Israel and vice versa; and hopefully, the direct flight services between the two countries will be implemented soon,” it added.
(Eagle News Service)