TUS Airways operates the first commercial flight between Israel and Qatar

TUS Airways A320 5B-DDL in the final for runway 21 at TLV © Wikipedia

This Sunday, November 20, the first commercial flight between Israel and Qatar, two countries without diplomatic ties, left Tel Aviv for Doha as part of a special program to mark the FIFA World Cup.

On November 18, Cypriot airline TUS Airways received the green light from Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority to operate six direct flights from Tel Aviv to Doha and six more in the opposite direction during the 2022 World Cup.

This Sunday morning, flight U8 1162 left Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv: “History will be made with this first direct flight between Tel-Aviv and Doha‘ explained Lior Hayat, the spokesman for Israeli diplomacy, because it is ‘the result of negotiations between the Jewish state and FIFA“.

TUS Airways Airbus A320 number 5B-DDL took off from Ben Gurion Airport at 11:14 (UTC+2) and was fully occupied with 180 passengers on board. It arrived safely in Doha at 14:44 (UTC+3).

Qatar was the first Gulf state to establish trade relations with Israel in 1996. This led to an official visit by then Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. But in 2000 the Jewish state’s trade office in Qatar was closed and relations between the two countries were finally severed in 2009 amid Israel’s military operation in Gaza.

Leave a Comment