Lebanon bans airline for having Israeli shareholder

TUS airlines will no longer be allowed to fly between Cyprus and Beirut


(JNS) Lebanon has banned Cyprus’s largest airline because it is partly owned by an Israeli shareholder.

Fadi al-Hassan, director general of the Lebanese Civil Aviation Authority, barred the Larnaca-based TUS Airways from entering Lebanese airspace because the Ramat Gan-based company Knafaim Holdings Ltd., controlled by Tami Mozes-Borovitz, owns 49.9% of the company’s shares.

The airline, which was established after the dissolution of Cyprus Airways in 2015 has a focus on the eastern Mediterranean, and offers flights to Israel, the Greek islands and various European cities with its fleet of five Airbus A320s.

The demand to ban the airline came after TUS Airways was awarded the right to operate regularly scheduled flights between Cyprus and Lebanon.

TUS Airways operated charter flights between Tel Aviv and Doha during last year’s soccer World Cup in Qatar despite Israel and Qatar having no diplomatic ties

A spokesman for TUS Airways was not immediately available for comment.

The Lebanese boycott comes amid burgeoning relations between Israel and Cyprus over the last decade and a half in a variety of fields including tourism, medicine, cybersecurity, energy and security cooperation.

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