Legal and political pressure is building on Kuwait Airways as more challenges to its strict anti-Israeli passenger policy emerge.
The carrier is already banned from offering a service between New York’s JFK airport to Heathrow in London after a 2016 ruling by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) that it cease discrimination against Israeli travelers.
“The U.S. Department of Transportation will not tolerate unlawful discrimination, and has mandated that the airline immediately cease that practice and allow Israeli passengers to travel between the US and London,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said when he announced the end of the trans-Atlantic service.
Now the German Federal Minister of Transport, Alexander Dobrindt, has joined the fray. He has ordered a state investigation into whether the Kuwait Airways policy of refusing service to Israeli nationals violates air traffic laws, according to Jewish News.
Volker Beck, a former Bundestag member from the Green Party, said the choice facing Kuwait Airways is clear: “Stop the discrimination or stop doing business in Germany.”
The German legal move follows that of an Israeli traveller who began private legal action in 2016 alleging the carrier refused to sell him a ticket for passage between Geneva and Frankfurt.
As Breitbart Jerusalem reported, the claimant’s lawyer alleges that travel was denied purely on the basis of nationality and that was a violation of Swiss law, which condemns discrimination based on race, religion or ethnic origin of a person.
More recently Arab-Israeli Facebook star Nuseir Yassin produced a video highlighting his unhappiness with the airline:
For its part, Kuwait Airways says it refuses service to Israeli citizens by citing a Kuwaiti law barring citizens from agreements, “with entities or persons residing in Israel, or with Israeli citizenship.”
The national carrier for the oil-rich emirate has resisted pressure to change its policy and has instead chosen to take major financial hits as an alternative.
Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: email@example.com