Kenya Airways (KQ, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta) is set to apply to the Sudanese government for permission to transit its airspace en-route to Tel Aviv Ben Gurion, Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth has reported citing sources familiar with developments.

According to the report, Kenya Airways' chief executive Sebastian Mikosz has already held talks with Israel's Minister of Transportation, Yisrael Katz, over his carrier's plans to start flights to the Israeli commercial hub in early 2019.

Given the mutual hostility that exists between Israel and Sudan, the application, if granted by Khartoum, would mark yet another significant shift in Arab-Israeli ties.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia, Sudan's key regional ally, agreed to permit Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) to transit its airspace for flights between Mumbai Int'l and Tel Aviv. Despite the groundbreaking diplomatic nature of the flights, the service has, however, encountered significant backlash from El Al Israel Airlines (LY, Tel Aviv Ben Gurion) which has sought to block them in the Israeli Supreme Court arguing that Air India's less-circuitous route through Saudi airspace is an unfair competitive advantage not available to Israeli carriers.

Unlike Mumbai where EL Al competes with Air India, the Nairobi service is not currently operated by any carriers from either Kenya or Israel.