UAE's Etihad Airways Denies Omitting Israel From In-flight Map

The official airline of the United Arab Emirates also refutes claims that it won't carry passengers with Israeli passports.

Etihad Airways, the official airline of the United Arab Emirates, has denied a  New York Post report that it omitted Israel from its in-flight map.

In a statement released Wednesday, the airline said it "emphatically refutes" the report.

"Our in-flight maps are industry standard and do not identify countries by name. Our website lists Israel as one of more than 150 country options for passenger documentation when booking flights," the statement said.

Etihad Airways added that it carried more than 1,000 passengers travelling with Israeli passports in 2013. "We do not discriminate in any way and welcome passengers of all faiths and religions, carrying valid documentation."

The New York Post's report Monday claimed that the carrier's in-flight travel-route map shows all surrounding countries, including Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus, but not Israel or its major cities.

It also said that the airline refuses to transport Israelis, who aren’t allowed in the UAE. In 2010, it began teaching its flight agents how to identify Israeli travelers by their “accents and traits,” according to the BBC.

A partner of American Airlines, Etihad is supported to the tune of $425,000 annually by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which maintains a preclearance customs facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport.

An American Airlines and Etihad representative didn’t respond to requests for comment on the original New York Post report.

State Department spokesman Peter Boogaard said, “DHS doesn’t condone discrimination of any kind, and a preclearance agreement in no way suggests support for any specific airline or policy.”

Reuters