Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Kuwait Airways Drops NYC-London Route To Avoid Non-Discrimination Obligations

In October, I flagged an administrative decision by the Department of Transportation which concluded that Kuwait Airways refusal to board an Israeli citizen on a flight from New York to London violated the carrier's non-discrimination obligations. The airline contended that its policy was in accordance with Kuwaiti law prohibiting (on pain of hard labor) it from contracting with any Israeli, but the Department (rightly, in my view) decided that otherwise unlawful national origin discrimination does not become permissible just because it is mandated by a foreign nation.

This week, the airline announced it was ceasing its New York to London service. A challenge to the DOT decision remains pending before the D.C. Circuit, so it seems likely that Kuwait Airways will return to the route if it is allowed to resume discriminating against Israeli passengers. But for the time being, its stance is clear: If we have to board Israelis, we won't board anyone.

No comments: