Etihad Airways, the airline owned by the United Arab Emirates, has removed Israel from its in-flight maps. While they still feature countries such as Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq, there is no mention of Israel or any of its major cities.
The Daily Mail reports that an Etihad spokesman refused to comment on the erasing of the Jewish state, but, speaking to the New York Post, travel expert Justin Ross Lee said, “As a frequent flier who holds both US and Israeli passports, I would sooner donate my miles to Hezbollah than travel on Etihad Airways. I’d probably be interrogated less.”
The airline is well known for taking a strong anti-Israel stance. It refuses to carry Israeli citizens, and its staff have been trained to identify Israeli travellers by their “accents and traits”.
Israelis are banned from entering the United Arab Emirates.
Etihad is the only airline to connect the city of Abu Dhabi to several U.S. locations, including New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago.
The airline also invests in other carriers as it seeks to boost profits. The Mail reports that it owns a 19.9 percent stake in Virgin Australia, 29 percent of Air Berlin, 40 percent of Air Seychelles, 24 percent of Jet Airways and three percent of Aer Lingus. It also owns 33.3 percent of Swiss carrier Etihad Regional.