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“It is not Ryanair policy (or our crew practice) to refer to Tel Aviv as being in any country other than Israel,” says Ryanair CEO following demands for an apology from United with Israel, among others.

By United with Israel staff

Irish airline Ryanair has apologized after a flight attendant on a flight from Italy to Tel Aviv made an on-flight announcement calling the flight destination “Palestine,” several media outlets reported.

Following protest by United with Israel and others, a spokesman for the airline told The JC: “A junior crew member on this flight from Bologna to Tel Aviv (10 June) made a routine descent PA mistakenly saying ‘Palestine’ instead of ‘Tel Aviv’. This was an innocent mistake with no intent and was immediately corrected and apologized for by the senior crew member on board.”

In a letter addressed to Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson said he had written to Israel’s ambassador to Ireland about the incident.

“It is not Ryanair policy (or our crew practice) to refer to Tel Aviv as being in any country other than Israel,” Wilson said. “The crew member in question has been spoken to and received a warning to ensure that such an error is never repeated.”

“Israel is an important partner for Ryanair,” he added. “We are Israel’s second-largest airline and we plan to continue to invest in Israel to grow traffic and connectivity both for Israelis traveling to Europe and also to bring much-needed inbound tourism to Israel.”

“I traveled to Tel Aviv & Jerusalem in recent months to launch our Winter 22 schedule and hope to visit again in the near future.”

Wilson said he “[apologizes] for this inappropriate and unacceptable PA and can assure you that there was no intention to cause offense.”

“This was an innocent mistake, and the crew member apologized on the PA when they realized what had happened. We can assure you that the crew member who made the announcement was extremely apologetic and has assured us that this mistake will never be repeated.”

However, accounts from passengers on the flight raise doubts about whether the matter was simply “an innocent mistake.”

As previously reported, Israelis present on the flight told Channel 14 News that a flight attendant said they were bound for Palestine multiple times, in both Italian and English. About half an hour before the plane was slated to touch down at Ben Gurion Airport in central Israel, the attendant announced over the intercom that the plane was “approaching Palestine.”

Some of the passengers on the flight spoke up about the announcement, they told Channel 14, and asked the attendant to either correct herself or apologize.

“We didn’t [buy tickets] on the airline to deal with anti-Zionist opinions [from flight staff],” a passenger said. “All we wanted was [an announcement] that Tel Aviv is in Israel.”

Their requests were refused, and instead the cabin crew accused the passengers of creating a disturbance that endangered the safety of the flight, they recounted to the outlet.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is demanding that the attendant be fired.



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