Israel, Egypt agree to expand flights with new direct route

Israeli cabinet meeting in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Israel and Egypt have agreed to expand their aviation ties with a new direct route between Tel Aviv and the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh expected to launch in April, Israel's prime minister said on Wednesday.

"Cooperation between the two countries is expanding in many areas, and this contributes to both peoples and to the stability of the region," the Israeli leader, Naftali Bennett, said in a statement.

Israeli carrier Israir said once it receives necessary approvals, it plans to operate 15 weekly flights on the Tel Aviv-Sharm El-Sheikh route.

Egyptair currently flies nonstop between Tel Aviv and Cairo.

Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979.

(Reporting by Maayan Lubell and Steven ScheerEditing by Jeffrey Heller)