(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia approved a request from the United Arab Emirates to use the kingdom’s airspace for all flights.
The move comes after an Israeli airplane crossed through Saudi Arabian airspace for the first time on Monday, carrying a delegation of Israeli and American officials. The UAE and Israel started normalizing relations last month.
The opening of Saudi skies, closed because the countries have never had diplomatic relations, reflects the growing willingness by Gulf Arab states to publicly recognize their warming ties with Israel. Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways said on Tuesday it started selling tickets to Israeli passengers in the lead-up to normal commercial flights between the UAE and Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday any airline, including Israeli ones, could now fly directly to the UAE through the Saudi airspace, and that it would shave off hours on routes to Asian destinations.
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