Qatar Airways announced that other Gulf Arab airlines would run around 160 daily shuttle flights to Qatar during the soccer World Cup, allowing supporters to fly in from adjacent towns before a game and return at the end of the day.
At a press conference, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker said that flyDubai, Oman Air, Kuwait Airways, and Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) would conduct shuttle flights, with Etihad and Air Arabia possibly joining the plan.
The shuttle flights would alleviate logistical, accommodation and policing pressure on tiny Qatar and allow neighbouring Gulf states to benefit from the first World Cup to be held in the Middle East in November.
Qatar hopes the tournament will attract roughly 1.2 million visitors, or almost half of the country’s population.
Flydubai will operate up to 60 daily flights from Dubai carrying up to 2,500 fans, Baker said, while Oman Air will run up to 48 daily flights from Muscat carrying up to 3,400 fans.
Saudia will operate up to 40 daily flights carrying up to 5,000 fans from Riyadh and Jeddah. Kuwait Airways will operate up to 20 flights a day carrying up to 1,700 fans.