April 4, 2013
Air France fined for kicking pro-Palestinian activist off flight to Israel
A French court ordered Air France to pay a $12,800 fine for ordering a non-Jewish pro-Palestinian activist off a flight to Tel Aviv.
In its ruling Thursday, the court in the Paris suburb of Bobigny also ordered the French flagship carrier to pay nearly $3,000 in damages to Horia Ankour, a nursing student, and her legal fees, the L'indépendant daily reported.
Ankour, 30, had attempted to fly to Israel from France last April to take part in the Flytilla campaign, which saw hundreds of activists seek access to Israel in a bid to travel to the Palestinian territories.
Europe's main airlines faced a wave of passenger fury during the campaign after canceling some 300 tickets at Israel’s request.
Ankour was taken off the plane in the southeastern city of Nice after an Air France employee asked whether she had an Israeli passport and was Jewish. When she replied that she was not Jewish, Ankour was escorted off the flight.
French prosecutors had backed her in the case, saying it was a clear case of discrimination.
An Air France spokesperson said the company was acting in compliance with the Convention on International Civil Aviation, also known as the Chicago Convention, which requires airlines to refuse to fly passengers who are “declared inadmissible in the country of destination."