A historic flight earlier this month was hailed as a sign of longstanding healthy relations between Israel and the Philippines.
The El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. with Flight No. LY 063 landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) last week, October 14 at 6:25 a.m. This was the first time since 2013 that the flag carrier touched Philippine soil.
In November 2013, two Israeli planes carrying humanitarian aid landed in Cebu to assist relief efforts in the wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda. It was one of the biggest relief operations that Israel has ever conducted, the Embassy of Israel stated in a news release.
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.
Onboard the recent El Al flight 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 program offered Filipino students the chance to study in specialized agricultural academic centers and work in modern farms throughout Israel.
Approximately 5,000 Filipino students already participated in the agro studies program.
Ambassador Rafael Harpaz said the historic flight symbolizes the good relations between Israel and the Philippines.
Harpaz hopes that once the COVID-19 pandemic has been wiped out, the existing visa-free agreement between Israel and the Philippines, more Filipino tourists will visit the Middle Eastern country, which Christians regard as a must-see pilgrimage site.
The embassy says direct flight services between the two countries will also soon roll out.