The “Wing of Zion,” the official presidential and prime ministerial aircraft of Israel, will take off for Dubai in November.
An Israeli delegation is being led by President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the annual United Nations climate conference, which will begin on November 30 in the United Arab Emirates.
The Boeing 767-338ER passenger aircraft arrived in Israel in 2016 and underwent a significant conversion and upgrade, taking its first post-conversion test flight in 2019 and receiving its flight certificate in 2021.
It was dubbed “Israeli Air Force 1” by Israeli media after the aircraft that flies the president of the United States.
Australian Airlines and Qantas previously owned the 120-seat aircraft, which is 23 years old. Modern features after the renovations include a defense system against shoulder-fired missiles created by Elbit Systems with a base in Haifa that uses a laser beam to eliminate the danger.
Also installed were defenses against cyberattacks. Before departing on the inaugural trip to the UAE state later this year, the flight crew accompanied Netanyahu on his visit to Cyprus this week to familiarize themselves with the operational procedures.
The plane was not put into service by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid as prime ministers of the previous administration. Israeli presidents and prime ministers have historically taken chartered flights, many of which are run by El Al.