Dublin – Passengers on the Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair, were taken aback when the flight attendant announced Tel Aviv is “Palestine” on their June 10 flight from Bologna, Italy to Tel Aviv, Israel.
During the flight, passengers were told repeatedly in English and in Italian that their flight was bound for “Palestine,” and shortly before landing, the flight attendant announced the plane’s approach “into Palestine.”
Several Israelis on the flight claimed that they confronted the attendant, asking her to clarify and apologize. “We didn’t [buy tickets] on the airline to deal with anti-Zionist opinions” from flight staff, a passenger reportedly said. “All we wanted was [an announcement] that Tel Aviv is in Israel.”
Yet, according to passengers, instead of apologizing, the flight attendant doubled down and then accused the passengers of causing a disturbance that endangered those on the flight.
When one of the passengers attempted to take a picture of the flight attendant, who also stated that Tel Aviv was in Palestine, she was told that she would be arrested upon landing for getting out of her seat to take a picture.
In response to the incident, Ryanair issued a statement saying: “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.”
There were some calls on social media for a boycott of the airline.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center tweeted: “If Ryanair considers Tel Aviv to be in Palestine then perhaps they should only do business with the Palestinian Authority. Israel and Israelis can make their own way to and from the Jewish state.”