First direct flight between Israel and Qatar takes off for World Cup
Passengers received tickets with the inscription 'Making history' in 3 languages: Hebrew, Arabic and English
Israeli fans made history on Sunday when the first-ever direct commercial flight between Israel and Doha took off from Ben Gurion Airport operated by the Cypriot carrier TUS Airways.
There were 180 football fans on board the plane. They arrived at the World Cup, which takes place from November 20 to December 18, 2022 in Qatar, which doesn’t have diplomatic relations with Israel. Passengers received tickets with the inscription "Making history" in three languages - Hebrew, Arabic and English.
Last week, FIFA and Israel’s outgoing prime minister Yair Lapid announced that Qatar had agreed to special direct flights as well as to the opening of the temporary diplomatic office for the Jewish State during the World Cup. Earlier on Friday, TUS Airways confirmed that they have received approval from the Qatar Civil Aviation Authority to carry out six direct flights between Tel Aviv and Doha and six direct return flights.
An Israeli foreign ministry official, Lior Haiat - who was at the airport to see the plane take off - said that "history has been made," with the "first direct flight from Tel Aviv to Doha." He also urged Israelis to behave prudently while in Qatar, due to the lack of diplomatic relations.
The direct flights from Tel Aviv to Doha will not continue after the World Cup ends.