The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has rejected arguments by Kuwait Airways that attempted to rationalize the Arab airline’s denial of tickets to Israeli passengers.
DOT said the American government now has “no choice but to pursue further administrative and/or judicial action” if the airline continues its discriminatory policy.
Kuwait Airways had sent a letter defending the airline’s denial of a ticket to Israeli citizen Eldad Gatt from New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to London Heathrow Airport (LHR).
You assert that the Department’s decision [that Kuwait Airways discriminates against Israelis] is inconsistent with legal precedent, and that KAC (Kuwait Airways Company) cannot comply with the mandate to sell tickets to and transport Israeli citizens between the U.S. and any third country where they are allowed to disembark….
Your October 13 letter adds no new information or arguments that persuade us to change our determination. Accordingly, we see no reason to reconsider this matter.
KAC had argued that its denial of transportation to Gatt from JFK to LHR is reasonable because Kuwaiti law prohibits the carrier from selling a ticket to an Israeli passport holder.
We know of no authority that would allow an airline to discriminate based simply on penalties that might be imposed under the foreign law that is said to have mandated the discriminatory conduct.”
The department has directed “that KAC cease and desist from refusing to transport Israeli citizens between the U.S. and any third country where they are allowed to disembark based on the laws of that country.
“In the event that KAC fails to comply with this obligation…the Department will have no choice but to pursue further administrative and/or judicial action.”