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Qatar Airways pulls flights, creates Fifa Visa to make space for football fans

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Qatar’s new ‘football fan visa’ comes into effect next week as one of the world’s largest sporting events makes its presence felt in the region’s airspace.

With under a month until kick off, Qatar Airways says it has pulled flights from 18 routes to make space for football fans coming to Doha for the Fifa World Cup.

The airline’s CEO Akbar Al Baker says that Qatar’s priority was to make room for the hundreds of daily inbound flights carrying soccer fans.

The airline is putting on 500 daily shuttle flights to football stadiums, expecting to welcome 1.2 million visitors over the month-long tournament.

“Our priority is not Qatar Airways’ network but giving access to all countries participating and bringing in large numbers of passengers,” Al Baker said during last week’s press conference.

When asked if there would be any new routes added to bring in fans, Al Bakar said it was “Quite the contrary.” They would be cutting services elsewhere to shore up the fan shuttle flights.

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