Kuwait Airways drops route amid discrimination dispute

Kuwait Airways drops route amid discrimination dispute
© Kuwait Airlines

Kuwait Airways is dropping its flight from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport to London's Heathrow Airport amid complaints about discrimination against Israeli passengers, according to transportation department officials in the Obama administration.   

The Department of Transportation (DOT) accused the airline of discrimination in October after it refused to sell a ticket to Eldad Gatt because of his ethnicity. The agency gave the company 15 days to respond to the contention.  

The airline had argued that it was allowed to reject Israeli passport holders under Kuwaiti law. 


It responded to the discrimination claim by canceling service between New York and London, according to DOT officials. 

"On December 15th, Kuwait Airways informed the U.S. DOT that they will be eliminating service between JFK and London Heathrow," a Transportation Department spokesperson told The Hill. 

Transportation Secretary Anthony FoxxAnthony Renard FoxxBig Dem names show little interest in Senate Lyft sues New York over new driver minimum pay law Lyft confidentially files for IPO MORE said when the DOT announced the investigation against Kuwait Airways that the country's prohibition on Israeli passengers does not extend to travelers who are flying from the U.S. to the United Kingdom. 

“It is our duty to ensure that the transportation system is free of discrimination. Period.  I know how important protections against discriminations are, and our department will stand firmly against it. Today, we are saying 'no' to discrimination against Israeli citizens on flights between the U.S. and the U.K.,” Foxx said in a statement in October.  

"Any airline that wishes to operate in the U.S. should know that we will not tolerate discrimination of any kind in our skies.” Foxx continued.

-This story was updated with new information at 3:30 p.m.