Ryanair makes amends for “landing in Palestine” announcement aboard flight to Tel Aviv

Ryanair’s chief executive, Eddie Wilson, has issued a formal apology following an incident that sparked an outcry among Israeli passengers aboard a flight from Bologna to Tel Aviv on 10 June. The commotion ensued after a cabin crew member inadvertently referred to Tel Aviv as being situated in Palestine during an in-flight announcement made in both English and Italian.

In a conversation with the Jewish Chronicle, Ryanair clarified that a junior cabin crew member made the statement in error during a routine descent announcement. The company asserted that there was no political agenda or motive behind the slip-up. The error was promptly rectified, and an apology was extended to the passengers by a senior crew member on board.

However, despite the apology, some passengers on the flight continued to express their anger vociferously. As reported by the BBC, local law enforcement was summoned to meet the aircraft upon its landing due to the escalated situation.

Israeli media pundits weighed in on the matter, with some suggesting that Israelis should contemplate boycotting the airline unless an official apology was forthcoming.

In a statement, Mr Wilson emphasised that the incident was “an innocent mistake with no political overtones or intent”. He added that Ryanair views the blunder seriously as mentioning Tel Aviv as a Palestinian city could be perceived as denying recognition to the Jewish state, which is deemed highly sensitive and provocative.

Acknowledging the gravity of the situation, Mr Wilson conveyed that he personally penned a letter to the Israeli ambassador to Ireland, expressing regret over the incident. He also reaffirmed that Israel is an essential partner for Ryanair.

Ryanair, currently the second-largest airline operating in Israel, has ambitious plans in the country. Mr Wilson expressed the company’s commitment to bolstering its presence by investing in Israel. He underlined that the goal is to augment both the number of Israelis travelling to Europe and to foster inbound tourism into Israel.

Image Caption: Kevin Hackert on Unsplash

Tags : Israel