Kuwait Airlines Case: German Court Affirms Judgment Against Israeli Passenger

The Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt has affirmed a lower court decision rejecting a claim by an Israeli citizen who resided in Germany and who was forbidden to buy a ticket from Frankfurt to Bangkok via Kuwait City on Kuwait Airways.

The court has issued a press release in English that explains the basis of its decision, so we can add a bit more detail to the facts I previously reported. It turns out that Israelis are forbidden under Kuwaiti law even to transit through the Kuwait airport. This is why, as I suggested in the earlier post, I reluctantly agree that the case is rightly decided and distinguishable from the American case, which did not involve such a layover.

Of course, just because the private plaintiff has no right to relief, the German authorities could nevertheless require Kuwait Airlines to sell him the ticket he wished to buy and to carry him from Frankfurt to Bangkok as a condition of the privilege of doing business in Germany. When the US Department of Transportation took such steps, the airline stopped flying its New York to London route. Perhaps a real insistence on nondiscrimination on the basis of nationality would lead Kuwait to revisit its law.

Kuwait Airways 777 on the runway

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