TUS Air’s “Direct” Israel To Qatar World Cup Flights

Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which will take place later this month. This leads to an interesting new route between Israel and Qatar.

Qatar to host Israelis for World Cup

Israel’s relations with many Gulf countries have improved considerably in recent years. For example, the country now maintains diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates and we are witnessing a considerable number of non-stop flights between the two countries.

Unfortunately, Israel and Qatar do not have diplomatic relations, as nothing has changed there in recent years. This means that there are no non-stop flights between the two countries and, in addition, Israeli passports cannot be used to enter the country.

This of course presents a challenge for the World Cup, which is to welcome people from all over the world. During the World Cup, Qatar will admit Israeli passport holders for the first time, in conjunction with World Cup tickets. This policy should only last during the World Cup, so don’t expect relations to heat up in the long term, at least for now.

Nevertheless, Qatari authorities have rejected requests for non-stop flights between Qatar and Israel, so nothing changes there. While passengers can connect through other hubs (such as Abu Dhabi, Amman, Dubai and Istanbul), Qatari authorities have agreed to a compromise, as noted by Live and Let’s Fly.

Israel and Qatar do not have diplomatic relations

Israel-Qatar flights authorized with “diplomatic stopover”

Cyprus-based TUS Airways has been granted permission to operate World Cup flights between Israel and Qatar…with a catch. The airline will not be able to operate non-stop flights between Israel and Qatar, but it will be able to operate “direct” flights.

TUS Air will operate flights from Israel to Qatar

TUS Air has received clearance to fly from Tel Aviv (TLV) to Doha (DOH), but only if a “diplomatic stopover” is made in Larnaca (LCA). It will be the same plane, the same crew and the same people, it will just take a lot longer. The flight from Tel Aviv to Larnaca is expected to take 50 minutes, while the flight from Larnaca to Doha is expected to take 3.5 hours, and this does not include layover time.

TUS Air route from Tel Aviv to Doha

The flights are scheduled to operate from November 20 to December 15, 2022, and fares start at $555. Flights cannot be booked directly with the airline, but must be booked through a travel agency.

At the end of the line

Qatar is certainly one of the most controversial countries to host the World Cup, and it’s the perfect example of why. Qatar and Israel do not have diplomatic relations. So while those with Israeli passports will for the first time be allowed to enter Qatar, non-stop flights between the two countries will still not be allowed, even for this special occasion.

However, it seems that the Qatari authorities are fine with this type of service as long as there is a quick “diplomatic stopover” in Larnaca. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but rationally it doesn’t make sense. “No, we can’t let them fly here…unless they stop somewhere along the way for no logical reason.”

What do you think of this TUS Air flight between Israel and Qatar?

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