American carrier United Airlines has terminated its direct services to Kuwait and Bahrain, two weeks after a US court banned Kuwait Airways from operating there because it refuses to accept Israeli passport holders.
United Airlines spokesperson Luke Punzenberger told View from the Wing aviation blog that the airline would continue to work with the Kuwaiti government. “We have taken steps to cease our service to Kuwait and Bahrain, effective 13 January, 2016. We will continue to maintain an open dialogue with both governments and others who may be affected by this decision, and offer alternative travel plans or refunds to customers who could be impacted,” he was quoted as saying.
The blog, written by Gary Leff, suggested United was ordered to terminate the service by the Kuwaiti government in retaliation for the US court ruling. However, the airline later said, “the service is not meeting our financial expectations” and added that the characterisation that they had been ordered to leave Kuwait and Bahrain was “inaccurate”, Leff wrote.
United States Department of Transportation (DoT) ruled on 5 October that Kuwait Airways’ refusal to carry Israeli passengers on its flight between London and New York constituted unlawful discrimination.
The airline contended that Kuwaiti law prohibits it, and Kuwaiti citizens, from entering "into an agreement, personally or indirectly, with entities or persons residing in Israel, or with Israeli citizenship”.
Source: Arabian Business