German Appeals Court Upholds Decision That Kuwait Airways Could Refuse Service to Israeli Man

Sep 25, 2018

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On Tuesday, a German appeals court upheld a ruling that Kuwait Airways did not have to transport an Israeli passenger because of the Kuwaiti government’s boycott of Israel.

The passenger in question, identified in court papers as Adar M., is an Israeli citizen who had been living in Germany. After he booked a flight with Kuwait Airways from Frankfurt to Bangkok via Kuwait City, the airline canceled his booking when he revealed that he had an Israeli passport. The airline offered to book him on another airline.

Adar M. refused the offer and filed the lawsuit, saying that the airline should have to accept him as a passenger, as well as seeking compensation for alleged discrimination.

While the German court said that the boycott of Israel was “unacceptable,” it did note that the man wouldn’t have been able to enter the transit area of Kuwait City Airport, so the national airline could not have fulfilled its contract, reports ABC News. However, the court backed the original 2017 ruling that said the airline’s fear of legal repercussions at home were “irrelevant,” saying Kuwait’s boycott had no standing in Germany.

Germany’s Transport Ministry criticized the policy, and the country’s ambassador in Kuwait was asked to bring it up to authorities, however the policy hasn’t changed.

The US-based firm representing Adar M. said that the upheld verdict will turn their attention “to the political fallout of this decision.”

“As the courts have as yet been unable to challenge Kuwait Airways’ flagrantly discriminatory policy, it falls on politicians to intervene to hold the airline to account,” the firm said.

TPG Managing Editor Alberto Riva flew with Kuwait Airways in first class between Dubai and New York.

Featured photo by Alberto Riva / The Points Guy.

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