Home Business Ryanair apologises for 'Tel Aviv in Palestine' flight row

Ryanair apologises for 'Tel Aviv in Palestine' flight row

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The chief executive of airline Ryanair has apologised after a flight attendant announced that the Israeli city of Tel Aviv was in Palestine.
Eddie Wilson told Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center it was an "innocent mistake".
Some passengers complained, and the row gathered momentum after the flight.
Mr Wilson said that he had written to the Israeli ambassador in Ireland, adding that Israel was "an important partner" for Ryanair.
On 10 June, on a flight from Bologna to Tel Aviv, a junior cabin crew member "innocently but inexplicably" announced that the flight would soon be landing in Palestine, Mr Wilson wrote in a letter to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Mr Wilson said that Ryanair was "100% satisfied that this was an innocent mistake with no political overtones or intent".
After the announcement, which was made in Italian and English, several passengers complained, and "continued to be abusive" even after the cabin crew apologised, he said.
Police had to be called to meet the aircraft when it landed, Mr Wilson said.
The use of the name Palestine in place of modern day Israel represents non-recognition of the Jewish state and is seen as highly provocative by most Israelis.
Following the flight, the row gained momentum. Some Israeli media commentators called for Israelis to boycott the airline if an apology was not made.
Mr Wilson said that Israel was an "important partner" for Ryanair, adding that it was Israel's second-largest airline.
"We plan to invest in Israel to grow traffic and connectivity both for Israelis travelling to Europe and also to bring much-needed inbound tourism to Israel," he said.
In a letter to Ryanair, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said it had received "numerous complaints" about the incident.
It said after the announcement passengers had asked for a correction, which was refused.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Simon Wiesenthal Center associate dean, said: "How would Ryanair react if their flight attendant on a flight to Dublin announced multiple times that passengers would soon be arriving in the UK?"
He added: "Everyone is entitled to their opinions but not to alternative facts."
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