A Ryanair flight attendant on a recent flight from Italy to Tel Aviv reportedly announced that the aircraft was landing in “Palestine”, prompting a furious response from Israeli passengers who demanded the crew member either correct herself or issue an apology.
Passengers onboard the plane told local media that the flight attendant announced the destination as Palestine several times in both English and Italian. The announcement caused an angry response from some of the passengers, which resulted in the crew allegedly threatening to call the police.
According to the United Nations, Tel Aviv is located in Israel – Tel Aviv is the second most populous city in Israel, and its location in the State of Israel is widely accepted by most governments.
In fact, due to the fact that Tel Aviv’s legal status as being part of Israel, many countries base their embassies and consulates the city rather than in Jeruselum due to diplomatic claims over the Holy City.
A spokesperson for Ryanair admitted that a “junior” flight attendant had “mistakenly” referred to Tel Aviv as Palestine but that a senior crew member immediately corrected her and apologised for the mix-up.
According to World Israel News, however, with around half an hour left of the flight, the flight attendant told passengers that the plane was “approaching Palestine” despite requests from some passengers for the crew to stop saying that Tel Aviv was in Palestine.
Some of the passengers then attempted to take a photograph of the flight attendant causing a small disturbance onboard the plane. The flight attendant was reportedly not wearing a name badge and refused to identify herself to passengers, according to Israeli media reports of the incident.
In response to the alleged incident, some Israeli commentators have even called for a boycott of the Irish low-cost carrier.
Ryanair currently serves Tel Aviv from a slew of European cities, including seven airports in Italy, such as Bologna, Milan, Rome and Venice.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Ryanair explained: “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 apologised for by the senior crew member on board”.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.