An El Al plane is seen in the background landing at Abu Dhabi International Airport, in the United Arab Emirates, Aug. 31, 2020. Photo: Ministry of Presidential Affairs / WAM / Handout via Reuters.

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday gave permission for all flights to and from the United Arab Emirates to use its airspace, its state news agency reported, ahead of the expected launch of scheduled Israel-UAE flights.

An Israeli airliner chartered to carry US and Israeli delegations from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi flew over Saudi Arabia this week, the first official flight by an Israeli carrier over the kingdom.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated on Wednesday, “For years, I have been working to open the skies between Israel and the East. It was spectacular news two-and-a-half years ago when Air India received approval to fly directly to Israel.”

He continued, “Now there is another tremendous breakthrough: Israeli planes and those from all countries will be able to fly directly from Israel to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and back. Flights will be cheaper and shorter, and it will lead to robust tourism and develop our economy.”

“It will do one other thing: It will open up the East,” Netanyahu noted. “When you fly to Thailand or anywhere else in Asia, it will save time and money. This is amazing news for you, the citizens of Israel.”

He concluded, “These are the benefits of a peace that is genuine. I want to thank Jared Kushner and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed for today’s important contribution. There will be a great deal more good news to come.”