Oman to open airspace to Israeli planes

Oman says it will open its airspace to all carriers that meet the country's requirements for overflying. The decision paves a way for Israeli civilian aircraft to pass through the country's airspace.

Oman's Civil Aviation Authority made the announcement on Thursday. The Middle Eastern country has no diplomatic ties with Israel.

The move comes as the US administration of President Joe Biden pushes for a thaw in relations between the Arab nations and Israel.

Saudi Arabia, which has no formal ties with Israel, opened its airspace for Israeli civilian aircraft last year to coincide with Biden's visit to the kingdom.

The US government welcomed Oman's decision in a statement.

The statement said the United States was "pleased to support these efforts through months of quiet diplomatic engagement."

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also welcomed the move, lauding it as a "great day" for his country's aviation industry. He said he had worked on getting permission from Oman for Israeli carriers to fly over its airspace so that they could go directly to India and onwards to Australia.