Kuwait Airways Cancels JFK Flights to Avoid Ticketing Israelis

NEW YORK -

Kuwait Airways said Tuesday that they were canceling their route from New York to London, after facing legal pressure for refusing to ticket Israeli passport holders.

The Middle East-based airline had recently been threatened with legal action by the federal government and the Port Authority, which runs the New York City area’s airports. Rather than yield, the airline said they were abandoning the lucrative route between Kennedy Airport and London’s Heathrow, according to USA Today.

“Today, Kuwait Airways informed the U.S. DOT that they will be eliminating service between JFK and London Heathrow,” Namrata Kolachalam, a department spokeswoman, said Tuesday.

The airline’s website was not selling tickets on Tuesday. “Sorry, we were unable to process your request due to either no operating flight or no seats available,” it read when asked for the cross-Atlantic flights. Flights from New York were available directly to Kuwait City or to other destinations connecting through Kuwait.

Jews and Israelis are not permitted into the Gulf emirate. The legal saga was over whether Israelis were allowed to fly on Kuwait Airways to other destinations.

Several New York City lawmakers had protested the airline’s stance at a City Hall rally last month. Kuwait Airways said it declined to sell tickets to Israeli passport holders since Kuwaiti law prohibits its citizens from entering “into an agreement, personally or indirectly, with entities or persons residing in Israel, or with Israeli citizenship.”