RIYADH - Saudi Arabia has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. However, a recent development from the middle eastern nation has come as a surprise.

In what can be called Saudi Arabia's growing proximity with Israel, the nation has granted Air India 's new flight line to Israel to traverse its airspace. This is the first time Saudi Arabia is allowing flight line to use its airspace to travel to Israel as reported by Haaretz.com.

The nod from S Arabia means that the distance between Delhi and Tel Aviv will now be shortened by about 2.5 hours. Apart from the reduced flight time, the new route will also help the airline to cut fuel cost and offer cheaper tickets.

At the moment, the only flight that flies directly from India is El AI, which takes nearly eight hours to the Ben-Gurion International Airport.

Air India is likely to get a grant of 7,50,000 euro grant from the tourism ministry for being the only airline to have flights between Delhi and Israel.

It is not the first time that Air India sought an approval from Israel. In 2017, the airline approached Israel Airports Authority to approve flights to and from Israel. However, this was not implemented despite the persistent demand for a shorter route.

The talks gained momentum after it featured in a series of discussions between Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, during the former's recent India trip.

This is a rare feat as the Saudi airspace has been closed for 70 years not only to Israeli aircraft but with other nations that have a flight-path to Israel.

Only two flights have been flown over Saudi Arabia to Israel in the recent decades the United States Air Force One with Presidents George Bush and Donald Trump.