Etihad Airways. Image Credit:

Etihad Airways started selling tickets to Israeli passengers in the lead-up to normal commercial flights between the UAE and Israel.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad will offer flights through Tal Aviation, an Israeli company that handles sales and marketing for airlines in foreign markets, a spokeswoman for the carrier said, confirming a television report.

Etihad’s move comes a day after an El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. jet carrying a delegation of senior Israeli and American officials flew from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi, crossing Saudi Arabian air space for the first time.

Analysts expect the initial benefits of the historic decision by the UAE and Israel to normalize relations to flow to the Gulf’s hub carriers, Etihad and Emirates.

Etihad will offer tickets to destinations in the Middle East, Asia and other regions, Israel’s Channel 13 reported. Etihad will operate direct flights to Tel Aviv, the TV news program said.

Tal Aviation wasn’t immediately available for comment.