Rather than carry Israelis, Kuwait Airways drops NYC-London route
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Rather than carry Israelis, Kuwait Airways drops NYC-London route

US officials say refusing to transport Israelis violates US law, airline notes doing so risks violating Kuwaiti law

An illustrative photo of a Kuwait Airways plane taking off from Berlin-Tegel Airport in Germany in September 2014. (screen capture: YouTube)
An illustrative photo of a Kuwait Airways plane taking off from Berlin-Tegel Airport in Germany in September 2014. (screen capture: YouTube)

Kuwait Airways is eliminating service between New York and London after the US Department of Transportation ordered the carrier to stop refusing to sell tickets to Israelis.

Namrata Kolachalam, a spokeswoman for the Department of Transportation, announced the airline’s decision, USA Today reported Tuesday.

On September 30, the department announced that the airline had acted illegally when it refused to sell a ticket to Eldad Gatt, an Israeli citizen, in 2013. On October 29, the department ordered the airline to “cease and desist from refusing to transport Israeli citizens between the US and any third country where they are allowed to disembark,” USA Today reported, citing a letter from the department’s assistant general counsel for enforcement.

The newspaper reported that Kuwait Airways explained its refusal to sell Gatt a ticket by saying it needed to comply with a Kuwaiti law barring citizens from agreements “with entities or persons residing in Israel, or with Israeli citizenship.”

The airline filed a counter suit against the department on November 24, which it has not yet withdrawn.

If it prevails, it may resume the New York-London flights.

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