Kuwait Air to end New York-London run this week over refusal to carry Israelis

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Kuwait Air is ending its New York to London service after the Department of Transportation did not relent in its requirement that the airline carry Israeli passengers.

“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 U.S. and London,” Anthony Foxx, the transportation secretary, said in a statement on Friday. “In light of our demands, Kuwait Airways has chosen to cease passenger service from New York JFK airport to London Heathrow by January 18.”

The department had informed Kuwait Air last September that its policies were in violation of U.S. law. The determination came after a complaint by Eldad Gatt, an Israeli citizen who in 2013 wanted to travel on an Israeli passport from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to Heathrow Airport in London.

Kuwait Air in an October response to the department said that Kuwait law banned the transport of Israeli citizens/passport holders, and argued that implementing this policy in the United States did not violate U.S. law.

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