Israeli told he cannot travel on Kuwait Airways due to nationality
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Israeli told he cannot travel on Kuwait Airways due to nationality

Lawyers representing the would-be passenger say he was stopped from taking his seat, as Kuwait bans all citizens and companies from doing business with Israelis

Kuwait Airways
Kuwait Airways

Lawyers representing Israeli air passengers are once again gunning for Kuwait Airways in Germany, after a second Israeli man was told he could not travel on the airline’s planes because of his nationality.

It is the latest twist in a long-running legal case that began after an Israeli student sought to board a Kuwait Airways flight from Frankfurt to Bangkok in 2016.

He was stopped from taking his seat because Kuwaiti law bans all citizens and companies from doing business with Israelis, since the two countries have no diplomatic relations. The airline paid for the student to take alternative flights.

Had the German judges ruled against Kuwait Airways in that case, it would have jeopardised the airline’s ability to operate in Germany, because German air transport law requires every air carrier to transport any passenger with a valid ticket.

The latest legal action, this time on behalf of an Israeli man who sought to fly in November last year, is once again being brought by the Lawfare Project, a pro-Israel group which funds legal challenges around the world.

The organisation has funded past action against Kuwait Airways in the US and Switzerland, which led to the airline cancelling its New York-London flights and all its inter-European flights, rather than compromise its practices.

The most recent case involves a plaintiff, known as Shmuel M, who booked business class tickets from Munich to Colombo, which was the quickest flight to Sri Lanka available from that airport.

The Lawfare Project said that the airline asked about Shmuel M’s nationality only when he asked about the availability of kosher food on the flight.

Lawfare Project director Brooke Goldstein said: “Time and again Kuwait Airways has shown itself to be a bigoted airline with a bigoted policy that should have no place in a modern liberal democracy. An airline that kicks Israelis off planes should be kicked out of Germany.”

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