Lebanon has banned the largest airline in Cyprus from flying through its airspace due to an Israeli shareholder, according to a report by One Mile at a Time.
The announcement by Lebanese Civil Aviation Authority Director-General Fadi al-Hassan means that Lanarca-based TUS Airways cannot use Lebanon’s airspace, nor can its planes land at Lebanese airports — all because the Israeli firm Knafaim Holdings Ltd. holds 49.9 percent of the airline’s shares.
TUS Airways, the largest airline of Cyprus, began its operations in 2016, and operates a fleet of five Airbus A320s that fly primarily to multiple destinations in Europe and to Israel. Recently, however, the airline won authorization for a route from Cyprus to Lebanon, which prompted Lebanese officials to research the airline more deeply.
“The implications of this ban are fairly limited in practice, since Lebanese airspace wouldn’t even be used for most of TUS Airways’ routes,” the news outlet commented.
During the 2022 FIFA World Cup, TUS Airways also flew charter flights between Israel and Doha, Qatar. Those direct flights constituted an historic development, since Israel has no formal ties with Qatar.